Rajon Rondo, holds his new Dallas Mavericks jersey during a news conference Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, in Dallas, Texas. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, G.J. McCarthy)

The Boston Celtics finally bid away the last piece of their most recent championship team while the Dallas Mavericks hope they just added the final piece to become a possible title contender. The two teams exchanged championship point guard Rajon Rondo for a slew of reserve players and a noteworthy $12.9 million trade exception. Rondo joins a loaded Mavericks roster that currently stands  fifth inside a busy Western Conference. His arrival instantly makes the Mavericks one of the more dangerous teams in the NBA if they weren’t already. But will Rondo’s arrival be enough to elevate Dallas over other big name title favorites? Perry and Stephen D. Riley of the AFRO Sports Desk debate the question.

Riley: I think you have to instantly rank Dallas as one of the favorites to win the NBA title. They have upper level talent in four out of their first five positions with Rondo, Monta Ellis, Chandler Parsons and Dirk Nowitzki, and even though Tyson Chandler is slowing down, he’s still one of the most well-respected big men in the league. I love their starting five; and coach Rick Carlisle is proven–with the rings  to show it. Rondo’s not as explosive as some of the other lead guards in his conference, but he’s going to hold his own. And, pairing him with Nowitzki just gives the Mavs a duo of proven all-stars. What team can confidently say they would beat Dallas in a seven-game series?

Green: I won’t get too hung up over the Rondo move considering he’s barely been healthy these last few years, and it’s always hard to insert a guy in-season and expect huge dividends. We also don’t know how a now 36-year-old Nowitzki will hold up over the course of another 82-game season. When you think about the Western Conference and outside of the old-but-still-prime San Antonio Spurs, the conference is mostly comprised of younger stars. Dallas is very much a mature team, and while Rondo is still in his prime at 28, he has miles of playoff games on his  legs and again, is coming off a slew of nagging injuries over the last few seasons. We’ll see how this move works but I can’t stamp them as a legitimate title contender.

Riley: Outside of Nowitzki and Chandler, Dallas isn’t that much of an old team.  They have the perfect balance between aged veterans who can still play and a bunch of players in their mid- to late twenties who are already nestled into their primes. I think they have the best mix in the entire conference outside of San Antonio.  Rondo gives them a presence similar to what Jason Kidd gave them in his championship season there in 2011 and maybe more. He’s still a defensive terror, ridiculously effective rebounder with amazing court awareness. He also serves as another coach on the floor and is a guy who can rev the team up with his competitiveness. His all-around skills have surpassed a broken jump shot. I would’ve  thought that Dallas would have had to give up one of their starters to pull in Rondo but they got him for next to nothing. Adding him to the rest of that starting  lineup is going to raise them to new heights due to Rondo’s ability to find his teammates.