Yes, it's frustrating when NBA players insist on acting like reasonable people and sign the richest possible deals as free agents, context be damned. But there is a time and place for taking a discount. These particular examples are not at all examples of that, but still.
It's not just that Rajon Rondo finds passing lanes where there are not apparently passing lanes, or regularly reaches seemingly unreachable spaces on the floor. That's remarkable enough, but how he gets there is what makes him great. What Rondo offers on a nightly basis is the possibility contained in the unknown. He is the deviant in a league that thrives on ritual and repetition.
Last year, Russell Westbrook came under fire for failing to behave like a true point guard. This year, it got worse. But the Thunder got better. Either Westbrook is a different kind of point guard or we need to change the way we understand the position.
Rajon Rondo is identified by where he is, and isn't. He's the future of the Celtics, and he can't shoot jumpers. These are two of the most important markers of place in the NBA. Yet Rondo, remote by nature, isn't known for being where he should.