For the past couple of weeks there had been rumors about the Lakers and veteran point guard Rajon Rondo having mutual interest to the point that it seemed like a foregone conclusion he was headed to Los Angeles.
In something of a surprise twist it turned out not to be the case as Rondo has agreed to a one-year deal to join the New Orleans Pelicans according to Shams Charania of The Vertical:
Free agent Rajon Rondo has reached agreement on a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, league sources tell The Vertical.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 15, 2017
Rondo had met with the Pelicans brass over the last couple of days and has a strong relationship with DeMarcus Cousins from their time together in Sacramento. With the Pelicans Rondo could serve either as a reserve guard behind Jrue Holiday, or as a starter next to him.
Even though his level of play has dropped over the past couple of years, Rondo remains one of the NBA’s most gifted passers whose court vision is basically unrivaled in today’s NBA.
It is because of that vision that the Lakers strongly considered bringing Rondo in as a veteran mentor to rookie Lonzo Ball. Both are extremely skilled passers and Rondo was beloved by the young players of the Chicago Bulls last season. The Lakers were hoping he could have a similar impact this season.
Nonetheless, the Lakers will now move on to other options for their backup point guard position. Tyler Ennis, who finished last season very strongly for the Lakers, remains the most likely option, but the Lakers have also been linked to Ian Clark and Isaiah Canaan as well.