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Dallas Mavericks point guard Rajon Rondo has set his ambitions out for this season, and that involves him winning a second championship ring with his new team.
The former Boston Celtics star was unveiled to the media on Friday as a Mavericks player, after the organisation secured a trade deal with Boston which saw Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder and Jameer Nelson move in the opposite direction as well as future Draft picks.
The Celtics will have a protected first-round pick in 2015, a protected second-round pick in 2016 and a $12.9m trade exception in a deal finalised on Thursday.
However, Rondo is now looking ahead to the rest of the 2014/15 season and he is hopeful of being able to improve the Mavs and helping them win a championship.
“There’s one goal that you have in mind, and I’m dying to get another ring again,” Rondo said in his introductory news conference. “I want another parade.”
“It was very challenging these last couple years,” Rondo said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to play for future Hall of Famers and great teams and a great coach in Doc Rivers. And to get back to that situation and be able to play with future Hall of Famers and a great coach and a team that’s ready to contend for a title, I’m fired up. I’m ready to go.”
Rondo played in two NBA Finals and won one during his eight-plus seasons in Boston but since the franchise traded Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in 2013, they have been in a rebuilding process and have made a point of acquiring young talent as well as future picks.
President of basketball operations Danny Ainge had previously suggested that he wanted Rondo to lead the rebuild, but he conceded on Friday that there was a risk of losing him for nothing as a free agent in the summer and he had to make the best deal possible for the Celtics.
Meanwhile, Mavs owner Mark Cuban insisted that the team fully intends on re-signing Rondo with his contract set to expire after this season.
“We’re past the days of rent-a-player,” Cuban said, calling Rondo the definition of a franchise cornerstone. “We want him to be here for a long time and we want to earn his desire to stay here. We have to convince him that he wants to be here because we know we’ll want him. We’re going to do everything possible to keep him here forever.”