With little time between the Los Angeles Lakers winning the championship and the start of the 2020-21 NBA season, the team figured to face a hectic period with respect to the Draft, free agency and potential trades.
The Lakers went into the offseason with Avery Bradley, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Anthony Davis and JaVale McGee all holding a player option for next season. Davis, as expected, is opting out of the final year remaining on his deal.
Most anticipate Davis will re-sign with the Lakers, and the only question being what type of contract he will ink.
As the team awaits other decisions, Rondo is another who has elected to test free agency, according to Brad Turner of the L.A. Times:
Sources: Rajon Rondo is expected to decline his player option for $2.6 million with the Lakers to become a free agent. Rondo will have teams after him, including the Clippers and Atlanta Hawks.
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) November 16, 2020
The likelihood of the Lakers possibly re-signing Rondo is unclear given his apparent desire for a more lucrative salary and with the team’s expected trade for Dennis Schroder. Of course, their trading with the Oklahoma City Thunder is said to have been driven by the expectation of Rondo moving on.
While the veteran point guard presumably will seek a contract more than a $2.6 million salary, he has openly said money is not a motivating factor at this stage in his career. Rondo is only the second player in NBA history to win a championship with the Lakers and Boston Celtics.
Lakers’ options with Rondo
The Lakers hold Rondo’s early bird rights, which allows them to offer a contract of up to the midlevel exception (just shy of $10 million). However, possibly doing so and dependent on other contracts with Caldwell-Pope and the like, will push the Lakers near the luxury tax and apron that in turn limits flexibility.
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