This week has been a very eventful one to say the least for Rajon Rondo. The Dallas Mavericks point guard was benched in for nearly the entire second half of the team’s Game 2 loss to the Houston Rockets. Rondo was then ruled out for the series with a back injury and head coach Rick Carlisle said he doesn’t expect Rondo to play for the Mavericks again.
This only served to intensify the rumors surrounding Rondo about joining the Los Angeles Lakers in the off-season. According to Tim Bontemps of the New York Post, the Lakers may be the only team interested in bringing in Rondo:
It seems like the only team willing to give him a contract this summer is the Lakers. It almost certainly would make Kobe Bryant happy: The two had breakfast together in Boston shortly before Rondo was traded, and Bryant has talked openly about how much he respects Rondo’s game.
Rondo’s continued struggles this season has likely cost him a lot of money however. Bontemps believes Rondo will get far less than the max contract he was originally looking for:
If Rondo gets a contract offer from the Lakers, how much is he worth? He will try to get a max offer, but that seems impossible. He may even struggle to exceed $10 million to $12 million a year after the way he’s struggled the past season and a half.
There is no question that Rondo’s stock has taken a massive hit, especially with his play during his time in Dallas. If the Lakers are the only team truly interested, it gives them major leverage in negotiations and could allow them to sign Rondo to a very cap-friendly deal.
Whether or not Rondo is worth the trouble regardless of the price is another question in itself. One thing that is for sure is that the Lakers plan on upgrading the roster this off-season, and Rondo could very well be an addition.[divide]