Rick Carlisle: Trade for Rajon Rondo 'a risk worth taking'

DALLAS - The results of the Rajon Rondo trade were far from what the Dallas Mavericks hoped, but coach Rick Carlisle nevertheless considers the deal "a risk worth taking."

Rondo's tenure with the Mavs all but officially ended Wednesday, when the team announced that he'd be out indefinitely with a previously undisclosed and untreated back injury a day after he played fewer than 10 minutes in a Game 2 loss to the Houston Rockets. Carlisle said he did not expect Rondo, a free agent this summer, to wear a Mavs uniform ever again.

Dallas traded three players (Jae Crowder, Brandan Wright and Jameer Nelson) and two draft picks (a protected first-rounder and a second-rounder) to Boston for Rondo and rookie center/forward project Dwight Powell in December.

"In the case of anything, there is risk, but there are risks worth taking," Carlisle said Thursday on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. "That trade was a risk worth taking. We all agreed on that. Now, we're at a point where, hey, it's time to move on."

Carlisle had privately expressed concerns about how Rondo would fit into his flow offense before the trade, but prevailing opinion was the Mavs had no realistic chance to make a playoff run with Nelson as their starting point guard. The front office also didn't consider any of the players sent to Boston to be major assets in the future, particularly with Crowder and Wright in the final year of their contracts.

The Mavs, who are down 0-2 to Houston in the series entering Friday's Game 3, had hoped Rondo could help make them legitimate contenders. However, the Mavs weren't as good after acquiring Rondo, a four-time All-Star who averaged 9.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists during his brief stint in Dallas.

In the regular season, the Mavs had a much lower winning percentage with Rondo (.565, 26-20) than without him (.667, 24-12). Dallas scored significantly fewer points when Rondo was on the floor (101.7 per 100 possessions) versus when he wasn't (106.4) after his arrival. His plus-minus (minus-40) is by far the worst on the team.

Those trends only got worse during the series against Houston. The Mavs were minus-36 during Rondo's 37 playoff minutes at the Toyota Center. Dallas outscored the Rockets by 14 points when Rondo watched from the bench in the two losses.

"Everybody owns it," said Carlisle, who had a high-profile blowup with Rondo in February that resulted in the point guard being suspended for one game. "This is all part of a franchise that's accountable. The one thing I love about Mark Cuban is that he is the ultimate example of accountability. When he has made mistakes in the past, he jumps up and admits them and he owns them.

"Look, you can't be in this business as long as he has -- and I've been in it longer -- and not make mistakes. Mistakes are how you learn."

The disappointing results and premature ending of Rondo's run in Dallas has reminded many Mavs fans of a mistake that Cuban has called the worst of his 15-year ownership tenure: trading a protected first-round pick to the Los Angeles Lakers for Lamar Odom in December 2011.

Cuban, citing his policy against granting interviews during the playoffs, declined to comment about Rondo on Thursday.

Carlisle said he accepted his share of the blame for the Rondo failure. However, asked what he would do differently in hindsight, Carlisle said, "Nothing."

"I think we all did what we could do, and I think he did what he could do," Carlisle said. "Now, it's over and we've got to move our attention to Game 3. It's just the way it went."