The Los Angeles Lakers just won the NBA Championship. Game 6 was played under three weeks ago.
However, given Covid-19’s impact on the season, the team’s front office will have little time to prepare for what’s next. Players will be on the move as free agency could start just days after the NBA Draft, currently slated for November 18.
One player that may be on the move (kinda) is Rajon Rondo. A crucial aspect of the Lakers’ Finals run, Rondo will reportedly be pursued by the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers have current point guard Patrick Beverley locked up till after next season.
The Lakers are naturally determined to re-sign Rondo, who played a huge role in their playoff run, but the Clippers are eager to upgrade at point guard. Rondo has said he is planning to test the open market, which means declining his §2.7 million option for next season— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 28, 2020
Transitioning from one Los Angeles team to another wouldn’t be too difficult for Rondo, but given the postseason run he had, it would likely take something special for him to willing part ways with the Anthony Davis and LeBron James-led Lakers.
Without too much cap space given the superstars on their team, the Clippers won’t be able to offer Rondo much, especially as the salary cap is set to stay put after a drastic dip in revenue.
As for the 34-year-old Rondo, this past season, he averaged 7.1 points, 5.0 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game. Those numbers were weak for the former four-time All-Star. But, per usual, he stepped it up a notch in the playoffs.
In just over two quarters per game, Rondo averaged 8.9 points, 6.6 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game. Also managing 1.5 steals per game over his last four Finals appearances, Rondo proved that he’s still a winner.
With a title to his name with the Celtics, the Clippers should want Rondo for the leadership he’d bring and the consistent clutch performances he’s had. For the Lakers, those will also be the reasons they’ll hope to keep him.
Rondo will have to officially decline his $2.7 million player option and then see something better from the Clippers to help them erase that second-round playoff exit from their memory next season.