The Los Angeles Lakers appear to be active in the trade market even after they already traded Rajon Rondo to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Head coach Frank Vogel recently said trading the veteran playmaker was a “difficult” front office decision to make, but one that would be beneficial for both sides. It is widely believed L.A. parted ways with Rondo to open up a roster spot, giving them extra flexibility ahead of the upcoming trade deadline and the beginning of the buyout market.
And, the Lakers reportedly haven’t finished the reshuffle of their roster yet. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on NBA Today that DeAndre Jordan and Kent Bazemore could leave L.A. next:
“Yeah, so they already offloaded a player in Rondo to create a roster spot and they are looking to do more of that … from teams that I’ve talked to, they are out there. With LeBron starting at center and eventually getting Anthony Davis back, they are looking to move DeAndre Jordan. Not necessarily for another player but to move him so they can open up a roster spot. Kent Bazemore is another player that they’ve been willing to talk about.
And I think again, their goal is [to] open up a roster spot. The Rondo move looks like it was going to be designed for Stanely Johnson to fill, but they may look in the buyout market for another player too. they’re trying to figure out how to do that.”
Jordan and Bazemore have seen a drastic cut to their rotation minutes over the last few weeks. The former has played in just five of the Lakers’ last 15 games, spending 10.4 minutes on the floor each night.
Jordan has made seven appearances during that stretch, playing 11.5 minutes per game
The expectation is the Lakers will sign Stanley Johnson to a 10-day contract on Thursday, which would give them the flexibility they seem to be seeking as they head closer to the trade deadline. If L.A. wants to make more moves and free up more roster spots though, it looks like Jordan and Bazemore are the two prime candidates to be dealt if they can find any takers.
Vogel talks about his relationship with Rondo
Vogel said the Lakers didn’t give up on Rondo but rather seized on the opportunity to move the guard to a place where he can enjoy a bigger role while opening up a roster spot.
The head coach emphasized Rondo’s contributions off the court before describing how deep a relationship they developed during the 35-year-old’s two stints with the Lakers.
“Rondo means the world to me,” Vogel said. “He’s one of my favorite players I’ve ever coached, was an integral part of us winning the championship two years ago, me winning my first championship and he’ll always be a special player and special friend to me.
“So I wish nothing but the best for him for now and we’ll continue to stay in touch and whatnot.”
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