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Rajon Rondo reportedly done in Dallas if Rick Carlisle returns as coach

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In a development that hardly could be considered shocking in light of everything that has transpired since his trade to the Dallas Mavericks, Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Rajon Rondo might be as good as gone next season.

Wojnarowski, who rightfully observes that the situation in Dallas with Rondo has devolved into a “toxic” environment, writes that given the away his tenure with the Mavericks has played out, Rondo’s expected “free-agent fleeing” to Los Angeles and the Lakers reasonably can be viewed as “inevitable.” He adds that this eventuality becomes a certain one if head coach Rick Carlisle returns for an eighth season as Mavericks head coach.

There doesn’t appear any reason why Carlisle’s ouster would occur, even if the Mavericks are ousted out of the first round by the superior Houston Rockets, which right now appears to be the case. Carlisle also is only a few seasons removed from leading the Mavs to an NBA title, something that should work in his favor, no matter the outcome of this postseason.

The situation in Dallas has deteriorated significantly ever since Rondo arrived on the scene and probably reached the point of no return when the point guard was benched during Tuesday’s 111-99 loss and a two-games-to-none deficit to the Rockets.

Rondo played just a shade under 10 minutes before being exiled to a ride on the pine early on the in third quarter, notching as many personal fouls as points scored, in both cases a disappointing four.

Cryptic comments from Carlisle after Tuesday’s game regarding Rondo was simply a continuation of what he had to say about an on-court run-in with the guard during a game in February, a confrontation that led to a similar benching.

Carlisle later got into a terse exchange with a reporter after the game when asked if Rondo’s benching was a coaching decision based on basketball reasons or disciplinary reasons.

Essentially, the incidents of Tuesday night exemplified all that has gone wrong in Dallas since the acquisition of Rondo. He didn’t come in and make the team any better — not by a long shot — and his presence has done nothing but create a pervasive sense of dysfunction more than anything else.

Perhaps moving on from the horrible situation in Dallas to L.A. may be just what’s necessary for Rondo to jump-start his career. And while Kobe Bryant seemed to be previously and slyly recruiting Rondo to La La Land in the past — including a breakfast meeting earlier this season — Rondo said Kobe “bailed”on him during a visit to L.A. in April. Perhaps Bryant is seeing what everyone else is seeing in Rondo of late and has lost interest.

(photo credit: Zimbio)