After Lonzo Ball missed 30 games during the 2017-18 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers signed Rajon Rondo to a one-year, $9 million deal in free agency.
As Ball will miss 35 games due to a Grade 3 ankle sprain/bone bruise, Rondo has not fared well either by missing 34 games due to two hand surgeries.
While the Lakers had hoped Ball or Rondo would at least be available at all times, Brandon Ingram was the team’s starting point guard at certain points.
Despite the Lakers not making the playoffs in Year 1 with LeBron James and the young core, Rondo is interested in re-signing for the 2019-20 season, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“Absolutely,” Rondo told ESPN when asked if he wanted to come back to the Lakers next season. “Absolutely. I mean, the only way we can go from here is up.
While Rondo understands the business side, he has been extremely impressed with how the Lakers have operated in his short time and wants to continue helping them grow:
“So, I don’t know what the future holds as far as the summer — if I come back, or who else comes back or if I don’t come back. Those things are out of my control. But at the same time, it’s a great organization. I can’t say enough about the staff and the people who work here. They’re really kind and helpful, so I want to continue, if I can, help this organization grow.”
It is no secret the Lakers are looking to sign or trade for a second All-Star player to play alongside James. If they are unsuccessful, there may be a scenario where Rondo could return on another one-year deal to preserve that $38 million in cap space.
While it is not ideal to have so much roster turnover, it is a strategy the Lakers have implemented in recent seasons and there are no indications that will change.