Lakers sign Rajon Rondo

July 6, 2018

In an effort to bring another ring to Los Angeles, the Lakers have looked to an old Celtic nemesis, as General Manager Rob Pelinka announced that the team has signed point guard Rajon Rondo.  Other outlets have reported that the deal is worth $9 million over one year.

Rondo's signing has garnered mixed reviews due to the confusion over how he will pair with newly-added superstar LeBron James.  Rondo is not a consistent outside shooter who can space the floor, and much like James, he typically operates with the ball in his hands.

Still, Rondo is one of the game's smartest players, as sees the floor brilliantly, sets up his teammates, and defends.  He also had a strong showing in the playoffs last season for New Orleans.

“We are thrilled to have Rajon bring his off-the-charts basketball IQ to the Lakers,” said Pelinka. “He has a proven ability to play at an elite level during playoff and championship runs, and that is a highly valued skill.  Rajon is also respected around the NBA as an extremely hard worker and relentless competitor and that mentality is key to how we want build our roster.”

Although on paper this move may not seem like an ideal fit, the thought process of the Lakers' brass is obvious: LeBron is getting older and has a short window to win a title, and thus, the team cannot wait for second-year point guard Lonzo Ball's on-the-job training to be completed.

In other words, the signing conveys the right sense of urgency to the youngsters on this roster, and particularly sends a signal to Ball and his family circus that he will need to produce at a high level or someone else will be there to take his place come crunch time.

More importantly, the short term nature of the deal gives the Lakers flexibility to make a splash again in free agency next year.

Rondo appeared in 65 games (63 starts) with New Orleans last season, averaging 8.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 1.1 steals in 26.2 minutes. The 12-year NBA veteran ranked sixth in total assists (533) last season, including an NBA season-high 25 assists on December 27 against the Brooklyn Nets.

A four-time NBA All-Star, Rondo has played in 779 career games (697 starts) for Boston, Dallas, Sacramento, Chicago and New Orleans, tallying averages of 10.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 8.5 assists and 1.7 steals in 31.8 minutes, while leading the NBA in assists three times (2011-12, ‘12-13, ‘15-16) and steals once (2009-10). For his career, he currently ranks 23rd in NBA history in total assists (6,608) and fourth among active players (trailing only Chris Paul, LeBron James and Tony Parker).

A member of the 2008 NBA Champion Boston Celtics, Rondo earned All-NBA Third Team honors in 2011-12 and is a two-time NBA All-Defensive First Team honoree (2009-10, ’10-11), also earning Second Team honors twice (2008-09, ’11-12).

By Staff of and news services

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