So far, everyone has been very professional.
Once again, Michael Carter-Williams will start at the point Monday when the Bulls host the Hornets, and Jerian Grant will back him up. A call made by Chicago coach Fred Hoiberg. Which means, Rajon Rondo will remain on the bench.
Rondo hasn’t played since he was a -20 in the first half against the Pacers last Friday, and that isn’t going to change in the short term. But so far, the tensions have not bubbled to the surface, reports Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com.
Hoiberg continues to praise Rondo for his professionalism and how he handled the demotion, as Rondo professionally and patiently answered questions about the situation Saturday night following the Bulls’ 20-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
But when it comes to Rondo re-entering the rotation, Hoiberg says he’s open but it doesn’t seem like there will be an opening, nor has he had a discussion with Rondo about being a reserve behind Carter-Williams.
But if this situation continues, Rondo will ask out.
It doesn’t appear Rondo’s feelings about wanting to be elsewhere if things don’t change have changed since the calendar have turned to 2017, when he stated he would hope the Bulls would work with him on a trade or release so he could explore situations where he could play.
“Absolutely,” said Rondo when asked if he felt he accomplished enough in his career to warrant that accommodation.
It’s too early to say yet how Carter-Williams with the other starters will pan out (they have only played 21 minutes as a lineup so far). Rondo with the Bulls starters usually played opponents about even. Carter-Williams certainly doesn’t solve the Bulls’ lack of shooting and floor spacing issues. However, Carter-Williams works harder on the defensive end, and he’s more willing to take his own shot than Rondo, whose drives only resulted in a shot if it was a wide open layup. Otherwise, he looked to pass.
If it came to a trade, with Rondo’s contract ($14 million this season, $13.4 million next season), I’m not sure the Bulls would find many willing partners. This may end up being more of a buyout situation, one where Rondo forgoes a lot of money to get out of town.
Right now everything is calm on the surface, but don’t be surprised if things bubble up as this situation continues for a few weeks.