The Los Angeles Lakers are rumored to be zeroing in on free agent Rajon Rondo, with the team hoping the veteran guard can serve as something of a mentor to Lonzo Ball.
The Lakers have been showing “serious interest” in Rondo, CBS Sports reported, and would have some money left to spend in free agency. While the Lakers have also picked up shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rondo appears to be a top target for the rebuilding Lakers.
Rondo received a $3 million buyout from the Chicago Bulls and is now an unrestricted free agent. The Lakers appear to be moving fast — Rondo has already met with Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson, CBS Sports reported, and the team is reportedly considering a one-year, $17 million offer to the All Star point guard.
The Lakers used the No. 2 overall pick on Lonzo Ball, the point guard from UCLA but could use a veteran to help serve as a mentor and steady his nerves. The Lakers were rumored to be seeking a point guard to play on a one-year deal, ESPN reported, and Rondo is the top target.
The Los Angeles Lakers, still struggling to find an identity in the increasingly competitive Western Conference after the retirement of Kobe Bryant, could use the leadership that Rajon Rondo brings. The veteran point guard would be able to play on the floor at the same time as Ball if the Lakers are able to shift Ball to shooting guard.
Rondo showed plenty of leadership this season, overcoming turmoil on the team that led to his benching in December to lead the Chicago Bulls on a push to the playoffs.
As NBA.com noted, Rondo took the initiative during the difficult period to improve his own game.
“Rather than let the situation boil over, he sought advice from some of his mentors: his high school coach Doug Bibby, and former Celtics teammates Kevin Garnett and Keyon Dooling,” the report noted.
Rondo even led the Bulls to a 2-0 series lead over the top-seeded Boston Celtics before he suffered a season-ending injury and the Celtics came back to win the series in six games.
While the rumors are pointing toward Rajon Rondo joining the Los Angeles Lakers, the team is also considering some more long-term options rather than the one-year leadership fix Rondo would bring. Bleacher Report noted that the team is looking into some young options including Tyler Ennis or Ian Clark.
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