NBA rosters have been in a constant state of flux in recent weeks with the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the Los Angeles Lakers are one of the teams that have been affected most.
The Lakers have had all but four players on their roster in health and safety protocols at one point or another over the last week, although as things currently stand, Rajon Rondo is the only one that remains so things are looking up.
With the NBA changing its rules though, the Lakers and teams across the league have been able to bring in players on 10-day contracts via the Hardship Exception in order to have enough players to play.
One player the Lakers signed was former lottery pick Stanley Johnson and he has impressed in his short time with the team, so much so that he may have earned a contract for the remainder of the season.
In order to facilitate that though, the Lakers would have to clear up a roster space, and it appears they will be able to do that. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Lakers are in talks to send Rajon Rondo to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a trade:
The Cleveland Cavaliers are in serious talks on a deal to acquire Lakers guard Rajon Rondo, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. In wake of Ricky Rubio’s season-ending ACL injury, Cleveland has need for backcourt help and is working on the potential move.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 30, 2021
This is a deal that would make sense for both sides as the Lakers would clear up a roster spot by unloading Rondo, who hasn’t played much of a role on the court for L.A. this season. And as Charania mentioned, the Cavaliers just lost point guard Ricky Rubio for the season so they are in need of some backcourt help.
It remains to be seen what the Lakers will be getting back, although the Cavaliers have available cap space so they do not have to send a player to L.A. That means it will likely just be a heavily-protected second-round pick or something of that nature.
The important thing here though is that the Lakers can now sign either Johnson or Darren Collison for the remainder of the season. It would also not be surprising to see them make another similar deal to unload someone like DeAndre Jordan or Kent Bazemore as well in order to keep both.
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