On Thursday it was reported that the Los Angeles Lakers were in talks to trade Rajon Rondo to the Cleveland Cavaliers in an effort to open up a roster spot.
They have now appear to have done so, receiving the partially-guaranteed contract of Denzel Valentine in the process.
Valentine is not expected to stick around with L.A., as he is likely going to be waived to free up a 15th roster spot. Valentine is owed $500,000 guaranteed for the remainder of this season, meaning the Lakers will still save some luxury tax that they would not have saved had they cut Rondo outright.
The details of the trade were all reported via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN on Friday morning:
ESPN Sources: The Cavaliers have agreed to trade Denzel Valentine to the Lakers to acquire Rajon Rondo. The Lakers are expected to waive Valentine’s partially-guaranteed deal and create an open roster spot.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 31, 2021
The trade has not been made official, but it expected to be completed on Friday. The deal is a win-win for all sides involved. Rondo gets a chance to play an impactful role with a young team in the Cavaliers, who lost backup point guard Ricky Rubio to a torn ACL earlier this week.
The Cavaliers essentially get a replacement point guard — who is not nearly as good as Rubio — for practically nothing, only dealing the partially guaranteed contract of Valentine.
The Lakers, meanwhile, gain the flexibility to open up a roster spot and sign a 15th player without increased luxury tax penalties. Stanley Johnson feels like the most likely recipient of that 15th spot, although nothing has been officially reported on that front.
They also have to make a decision very soon on Avery Bradley, whose contract guarantee date comes in the first week of January.
Malik Monk wants to be relied on
After a couple of phenomenal games as a starter, Lakers guard Malik Monk wants to be seen as someone who can be relied on.
“I try to take that role every game, it don’t matter if I’m playing a lot or not, I’m trying to take that role and everything that comes with it,” he said. “I want to be that guy. So, yes, sir. I’ve been coming into games and thinking that and playing like that, too. Yes, sir.”
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