The Los Angeles Lakers announced they signed Rajon Rondo to a one-year deal after the point guard agreed to a buyout with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Terms of the deal were not released, though it is believed to be for the one-year, veteran’s minimum. Rondo was included in the trade that brought back Eric Bledsoe to the L.A. Clippers, and it was widely assumed at the time that the veteran guard would either be traded or bought out because the Grizzlies had exceeded the limit of 15 guaranteed contracts on their roster.
Rondo was entering the last year of his deal where he was slated to make $7.5 million, but he will likely make that up between the buyout with Memphis and his new deal with Los Angeles. With Rondo on their books, the Lakers have 13 players on their roster with the flexibility to sign two more players before the start of the 2021-22 season.
As soon as Rondo was traded to the Grizzlies and talks of a buyout were reported, the Lakers were instantly linked to the guard and were considered the favorites to sign him given his role on their 2020 NBA Championship team and his ability to take over playmaking and ballhandling duties when LeBron James is off the floor.
Vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka acquired Russell Westbrook in the hopes of addressing the need for another difference-making playmaker next to James, but having Rondo ensures that there is always someone on the floor who can set up the rest of the roster. However, Rondo’s addition does crowd the backcourt as he will be joining Westbrook, Wayne Ellington, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn and Malik Monk. All these players will be vying for minutes, so it will be interesting to see how head coach Frank Vogel manages this throughout the year.
All offseason, the Lakers have prioritized veteran role players with experience winning at the highest levels and Rondo fits the criteria pretty seamlessly. Another reunion is in the books and Rondo is in line to compete for yet another ring.
LeBron James compares playing against Chris Paul to Rajon Rondo and Draymond Green
Rondo is widely regarded as one of the smartest players in the league, so it was not a surprise to hear James compare playing against Chris Paul to him during the postseason this past season.
Both point guards are cerebral players who understand how to organize and move players around, and fans are fortunate they get to see this level of intellect out on the court.
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