Be careful what you wish for.
In big moments Rondo has proven himself to be one of the best players in the league. However, Rondo is consistently rated as one of the 5 best PGs because of what he does in the regular season. Playoff time is when he enters that special discussion of top 5 players in the league.
With all of his faults and flaws, he is consistently better than his peers. If we trade him and get back a lesser PG, we are likely getting back someone worse than Rondo on his off nights. Cousins or whoever would have to off set that, and there's a wide gap between Rondo and quality PGs like Jennings or Conley, let alone Evans.
I've never understood the argument that if we trade Rondo, everyone else will suddenly play better. Why wouldn't they be playing at their best already?
Rondo consistently puts guys in good position to score/create and is the least likely to turn the ball over. When the ball isn't in his hands, he's become a good enough scorer to keep his defender honest and not mess up spacing. There's no reason the mythical Rondo-less ball movement can't happen with him in the game.
Bradley has come back and is doing what we'd hoped. Sully has continued to develop and looks less lost each night. Lee is quietly finding his groove. Green and Bass are inconsistent but solid when they're on. KG, Pierce and Jet are who they've been over their careers and are quality players. I heard someone on tv or radio talking about how Bradley's effort shames people into playing better, and him coming back is an emotional boost. I think that's the key to our recent success. We're whole and we're starting to gel.
We are a lot like the Bulls. We could get rid of Rondo and still be a solid regular season team if everyone executes perfectly. But Rondo's the guy who gives us a shot at a title.
The difference is that I don't hear Bulls fans saying they need to get rid of Rose and bring in Cousins and Tyreke Evans (but maybe they are). I don't think that gives them a shot at a title this year, and it's safer to build around or build with a proven star than a guy with potential, even if it's a center.
I'd be much more afraid of Philly this year and going forward if they had AI and not Bynum (a guy whose proven more than Cousins). Yea Bynum's hurt...but isn't that to be expected? Cousins could clean up his act and be Zach Randolph 2.0, but there are a lot more guys who have wasted there potential than realized it.
We don't need Rondo to win. We do need Rondo if we want to make a deep run in the playoffs.