Five things to know about Pelicans guard Rajon Rondo

1)      The 31-year-old, four-time All-Star point guard immediately becomes New Orleans’ most experienced and playoff-tested roster member, as well as the only current Pelicans player to boast an NBA championship ring. Rondo was a key cog for Boston’s 2008 title team, starting in all 103 of his appearances that season (77 regular season games, plus 26 playoff contests). In just Rondo’s second year in the NBA, the Celtics earned the 17th crown in franchise history by besting the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers 4-2 in the Finals.

2)      Rondo’s total of 96 career playoff games is more than double that of any New Orleans teammate, with Omer Asik next in line at 37, followed by Quincy Pondexter’s 29. While Rondo twice played in the NBA Finals with Boston, the deepest any other Pelicans teammate has gone in the postseason is the conference finals. Asik (with Chicago in 2011), Pondexter (Memphis in 2013) and E’Twaun Moore (Boston in 2012, a team that also included Rondo) have all advanced to the third round of the playoffs. Rondo’s teams have reached the playoffs eight times out of his 11 seasons (he missed the ’13 postseason due to an ACL injury).

3)      With 6,075 career assists in the NBA, Rondo is quickly approaching the top 25 all time in that statistic. Based on his track record of averaging about 550 assists per season in his 11-year pro career, he would move all the way up to 23rd on the list by the end of 2017-18. The only active NBA players ahead of Rondo on the career assist list are Chris Paul (8,251), LeBron James (7,461), Deron Williams (6,819) and Tony Parker (6,634). All of those players have been in the league at least two years longer than Rondo.

4)      Regarded throughout his career as a formidable and disruptive defender, partly due to his quick feet and long arms, Rondo led the NBA in total steals in 2009-10, with 189. Among active NBA players, he ranks second in career steals average, at 1.80 per game. Paul tops that list with 2.29. From Boston’s championship season of 2007-08 through 2011-12, the Celtics were a top-five team in defensive efficiency every year.

5)      The Louisville native adds more Bluegrass State flavor to the Pelicans, who already have University of Kentucky products Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins on the official roster. Although Rondo is occasionally referred to as a fellow John Calipari-coached player, he actually missed him at UK by a few years. Calipari debuted with the Wildcats in 2009-10 in Cousins’ lone college season; by that time Rondo was a fourth-year NBA player. The list of Kentucky players who’ve donned a New Orleans uniform during the four-year Pelicans era also includes Darius Miller and Terrence Jones.

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