The Los Angeles Lakers point guard issues have been well chronicled. While employing the triangle offense, the Lakers merely needed someone to bring the ball up the court and spot up on the perimeter. But with Phil Jackson long gone, the Lakers have yet to bring in a true point guard to compete with the league’s best.
Coming into this season, the Lakers brought in Jeremy Lin via trade, and he looks to be the surest bet at the position. Steve Nash is apparently healthy, but no one knows what to expect from him and Jordan Clarkson, besides being a rookie, may turn out to be a shooting guard more than a point guard.
Recently, there has been a rumor that Rajon Rondo ‘wants out’ of Boston. While Lakers fans may still despise Rondo due to the battles in the NBA Finals with the Celtics, he is still considered one of the best ‘pure point guards’ in the NBA today.
With the Lakers obviously in need of an elite talent at the position, he may be a viable option for the Lakers if the Celtics are indeed looking to trade him. But should the Lakers pursue him?
We asked our panel of experts if the Lakers should pursue a trade for Rajon Rondo, and if so, what should they offer? This is what they had to say:
Ryan Ward (@Lakers_Examiner): After failing to sign Carmelo Anthony and/or LeBron James in free agency, the Los Angeles Lakers decided to explore other viable options. Unfortunately, there weren’t any game-changing moves that could be made, but they were able to bring in an upgrade at the point guard position.
The Lakers basically gave up nothing to acquire Jeremy Lin from the Houston Rockets back in July. The move was criticized by many, but it is hard to argue that it hasn’t upgraded the backcourt.
Although Lin could revitalize his career in Los Angeles, the possibility of bringing in Rajon Rondo is intriguing. The only problem with a potential trade for the one-time NBA champion is that it will almost certainly require the Lakers to send Julius Randle to the Boston Celtics.
With Randle being arguably the most promising young player on the Lakers roster right now, it would be gamble to go after a veteran point guard with an attitude problem and a knee that might not hold up. Rondo is without a doubt an elite floor general in this league, but I’m not sure he’s worth the gamble at this point in time.
The team is building for the future and adding Rondo for Randle won’t be enough to turn things around immediately in my opinion. I’m not sold that the dynamic between Kobe Bryant and Rondo would work either.
I’d say stand pat with Lin and Jordan Clarkson.
Kevin Chan (@Kevin_Cruiser): It would be great if the Lakers could trade for Rajon Rondo, but I fear that the only players that the Celtics would accept in a trade would be youth – like Julius Randle.
The Lakers really don’t have many trading chips. Their 2015 first round pick is owed to the Phoenix Suns (top five protected). I don’t think the Lakers will fall into the bottom five this year – last year they were historically bad and they drafted seventh. So the real question becomes: Should the Lakers trade Julius Randle for Rajon Rondo?
WIthout seeing Randle play it’s hard to come to a clear answer. If Randle lives up to his billing and plays well in his rookie year, I’d hope the Lakers keep him and allow him to develop. If Randle falters and shows that his potential is limited then maybe it would be prudent for the Lakers to pursue Rondo.
At this point though it’s hard to say. But, I think the Lakers would benefit from a youth movement which would pay dividends long-term. Granted, I haven’t seen Randle play, but unless he’s a complete flop
I think the Lakers should keep Randle and pass on Rondo.
If the Lakers can figure out a way to trade for Rondo without giving up Randle then I’m all for it. I just don’t see how they could given their limited trading chips.
Corey Hansford (@TheeCoreyH): If the Lakers have the opportunity to get Rajon Rondo, they should do it. Period. He is an elite point guard, and is still only 28 with championship experience.
The obvious question becomes, what could the Lakers possibly trade for Rondo. Surprisingly, they actually could put together a decent package, possibly even without Julius Randle, for a rebuilding team like the Celtics.
A team like Boston is looking for draft picks, cap space, and/or young players. Let’s say that it gets to December, and Jordan Hill is having an excellent year, and Jordan Clarkson is flashing potential. An offer of Hill, who is basically a $9 million expiring, Clarkson, Nash’s expiring contract, and the Houston pick could be a very enticing offer.
The Lakers need to find a way to bring in top level players, and Rondo can be that. He makes teammates better, and can defend. Giving up Randle would be a tough pill to swallow, but may be worth it. I believe Rondo still has a lot left in the tank and would easily be the Lakers’ best point guard since Magic.
Russell Valenzuela (@RussVal4): While it is undeniable that a potential addition of Rajon Rondo would immediately improve the Lakers’ current point guard situation, I don’t see the Lakers putting together a favorable package to pry him away from the Boston Celtics.
Trading away Julius Randle would thin the frontcourt and leave it with Ed Davis and Ryan Kelly potentially serving as the primary backups to Carlos Boozer.
Other assets the Lakers could give up would either Steve Nash or Jeremy Lin’s expiring contracts, but the Celtics wouldn’t need the backcourt help given they just drafted Marcus Smart and have Avery Bradley signed for the next four years.
There is also the draft pick the Lakers picked up in the Lin trade. Any deal will most likely have the pick included as the Celtics continue their rebuild. I don’t believe trading it for Rondo is the right move for the Lakers.
In addition, there is no guarantee Rondo is going to return to the Lakers in the offseason. As experienced in the Dwight Howard saga, the Lakers will end up worse in the long run by losing all the assets they gave up should history repeat itself.[divide]
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