With the title-winning season now in the books for the Los Angeles Lakers, the main priority of the front office is to ensure the team stays competitive once the new campaign starts.
And that means looking for new additions to strengthen the roster as much as retaining valuable pieces. Many Lakers role players shined in Orlando. Alex Caruso, Markieff Morris, and Rajon Rondo often came off the bench and played the third-star role for L.A.
Rondo in particular made a huge impact since returning from thumb and back injuries during the Houston Rockets series. He averaged 8.9 points, 6.6 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and shot 40% from behind the 3-point line in the 2020 NBA Playoffs.
The veteran’s basketball IQ and mentorship undeniably was part of the team’s success this season, with Davis heavily benefiting from his rapport with the playmaker.
But according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Rondo will decline his player option worth $2.96 million to become an unrestricted free agent and check his market value in free agency:
Sources said Rondo is expected to decline his option, and he will have interest from the Lakers and others believing he is a piece to build on a championship roster.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee and Avery Bradley are the other Lakers who have player options in their contracts for the next season. Davis reportedly will decline his option as well and then re-sign with the Lakers in free agency.
Rondo joins elite group
Rondo became just the second player in NBA history to win a championship with both the Boston Celtics and Lakers, joining Clyde Lovellette.
Though, Lovellette won his titles with the Celtics and Minneapolis Lakers. Therefore, Rondo is the lone player to ever accomplish the feat with the Boston and L.A. franchises.
Similar to Dwight Howard, Rondo went a significant number of years between appearances in the NBA Finals. It made him all the more appreciative of returning to the pinnacle with the Lakers this season.
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