On the surface, the Los Angeles Lakers signing Rajon Rondo in free agency this summer was a bit of a surprising addition. However, he also represented an answer to multiple areas the team had a void in last season.
They struggled when Lonzo Ball missed time due to injuries, and the roster also lacked a proven mentor at the position for the then-rookie. Nonetheless, with Ball and Rondo in the fold, questions arose over who would start.
To his credit, Rondo has openly stated he’ll accept any role with the Lakers, all the while intending to provide guidance for Ball both on and off the court.
During an appearance on the official Lakers podcast, Rondo expanded on why he is not concerned over whether he or Ball emerges as the starting point guard:
“It’s not important. It’s not like I’m a second-year player, he’s a second-year player, and we’re competing. I’m 13 years in. I’m comfortable in my own skin. I’ve done a lot of great things in my career. It’s not that I need validation to start in this league. I’ve been benched in Chicago, I’ve played 50 games. I’ve been through it all. It’s no comparison as far as what I’ve been through versus this year. Obviously, my expectation is to win a championship here. Whether I start, whether I play, I’ll have an intricate role in our success this year. I’m looking forward to bringing whatever I can to this team.”
With the Lakers cautiously nursing Ball back from his offseason knee surgery, Rondo figures to receive the bulk of the starts during the preseason. At minimum, that is the case for Sunday’s opener against the Denver Nuggets.
In terms of the regular season, Lakers head coach Luke Walton indicated he would use training camp and the preseason to determine which players fit best together. Though with that, Walton made it clear the starting lineup for the season opener wouldn’t necessarily be set in stone.
Regardless of where Rondo ultimately fits in, Ball and the Lakers are eager to take advantage of his presence and knowledge.