Immediately after Rajon Rondo agreed to terms with the Los Angeles Lakers, reports surfaced that he would be given an opportunity to compete with Lonzo Ball for the starting job at point guard.
Walton would later confirm as much, explaining the Lakers would evaluate all options to fill out the lineup around LeBron James. Now, with Ball still recovering from offseason knee surgery, the Lakers are poised to begin the 2018-19 season with Rondo in the backcourt.
What role Rondo would fill for the Lakers has been discussed ad nauseam, though he’s expressed a willingness to do whatever is asked of him.
With the team tipping off the season Thursday, it appears Rondo and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will make up the starting backcourt, according to Kyle Goon of Orange County Register:
Gonna be Rondo, Caldwell-Pope, Ingram, James and McGee as the Lakers starters.
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) October 19, 2018
Although the Lakers have already decided it best to not have Ball in the lineup at season’s beginning, he nonetheless is said to be 100 percent healthy. General manager Rob Pelinka explained their withholding Ball from scrimmages at the outset of training camp was a byproduct of the time he missed while recovering.
Ball played in the final two preseason games without any setbacks. He also showed off some of the added strength to his frame.
Meanwhile, Caldwell-Pope held off a charge by Josh Hart for a starting job. Walton raved about Hart’s contributions throughout training camp and also had praise for Caldwell-Pope.
The remainder of the Lakers’ lineup for their season opener against the Portland Trail Blazers is as expected.
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