Though he has been up and down in terms of production this year, veteran point guard Rajon Rondo has been an important part of the Los Angeles Lakers all season. Rondo suffering a fractured right thumb in practice before the restart could even begin was another blow to roster depth.
Already without Avery Bradley as well, the Lakers have made due during scrimmages and seeding games with the likes of Alex Caruso and Dion Waiters stepping up. Although Rondo remains out for at least few more weeks, he is already taking the steps to get back on the floor.
Having undergone surgery last month and now in the midst of the rehab process, Rondo arrived in Florida on Wednesday. “He’ll be outside the bubble for a period of time and then he’ll come into the bubble for the four-day quarantine,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said.
“I believe it’s seven days with testing outside the bubble and then four days of quarantining and testing inside the bubble.”
Assuming everything goes well with testings, Rondo wouldn’t be able to actually join the Lakers on the court until after the playoffs begin, which is on par with his original diagnosis. It is believed that Rondo won’t be available until late in the first round or start of second round of the playoffs.
But being separated from the Lakers has not kept him away from the team. “He’s in every meeting, it doesn’t matter how early it is,” Vogel added. “We had an 8:45 (a.m. ET) meeting and he was bouncing the ball. So he was in the gym at 5:45 in the morning bouncing the ball.
“We’ve asked his opinion on certain things, he’s offered some input on other things when I ask the group about a certain coverage, rotation or anything like that. He’s been like one of our assistant coaches. He hasn’t missed a meeting either, by the way. It doesn’t matter what time.”
Frank Vogel considers Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma options to initiate offense
LeBron James dominates much of the ball handling and playmaking on for the Lakers, but the team still needs others players to run the offense at times, especially when he sits.
The main player tasked with that responsibility has been Rondo, one of the best playmakers in this era of NBA basketball, but with him injured, Vogel has been forced to look elsewhere.
Caruso has been the main player relied upon to step up in Rondo’s absence, but Vogel believes the Lakers have other options as well, pointing in particular to a pair of his bigs.
“More will be needed in that regard from Alex and Quinn Cook. We have the ability to use our bigs with Kuz and in particular A.D. having the ability to bring it up and initiate offense,” Vogel recently said. “But I also like the prospects of seeing what Dion Waiters can do.
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