12 months ago, the Chicago Bulls were heading into the 2016-17 season with high hopes after putting together an All-Star trio of Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo.
Putting three ball-dominant players on the same team was seen as a risky move by many and there were doubts about how could they co-exist.
Those doubts were proved correct as the Bulls endured a turbulent season in which Rondo became the scapegoat.
The outspoken point guard lost his place in the starting line up during the campaign after falling out with the team's coaching staff and was also suspended for one game for throwing a towel at assistant Jim Boylen.
Despite those problems, the former Celtics man was reinstated as a starter in the latter part of the year and helped the Bulls make the playoffs.
In their first-round series with the Boston Celtics, the veteran was arguably the best player in the first two games as he inspired Chicago to a shock 2-0 lead before an unfortunate fractured thumb ended his season.
The franchise decided to go into rebuilding mode this summer and began by trading Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves and followed that up by waiving Rondo and agreeing to buy out Wade's contract recently.
D.Wade claimed that the trio would've been retained by Chicago if Rondo hadn't suffered an injury in the playoffs, but that's not something the playmaker agrees with.
"I thought they'd waive me from the jump," Rondo said, per the Chicago Tribune. "That's just my feeling and my intuition."
In May, Bulls vice president John Paxson said "there a very good chance" they would pick up the four-time All-Star's $13.4 million team option, but ended up waiving him by the end of June.
"Especially the way the season ended, I don't think you can say, 'OK, now we're going to get rid of Rondo,'" the guard said. "Management figures are smart. They know what to say at particular times.
"But you traded away one of the best players in the game on draft night. So you kind of know where that situation is going. I guess it's what happens when you decide you're not trying to win."
The former NBA champion signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans over the summer and has found himself in a more comfortable position alongside big man duo Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins.
With two of the best inside scorers in the league at his disposal, the 31-year-old can get back to doing what he does best and be an elite creator for his teammates.News Now - Sport News