Rajon Rondo was one of the NBA veterans that the Los Angeles Lakers controversially signed in the recent free agency. Since his acquisition, most people have doubts as to how a ball-dominant player and inaccurate shooter like Rondo will fit alongside LeBron James in order to make the Lakers a better and more cohesive team.
So far, Rajon Rondo continues to prove that the Lakers made the right decision to sign him this offseason. Aside from his leadership and incredible playmaking skills, Rondo is also helping some of the Lakers’ younger players to improve their performance on the defensive end of the floor. Rondo recently watched films with Kyle Kuzma — pointing out the areas that Kuzma needs to address.
Regarding Brandon Ingram, Rajon Rondo has nothing but praise for the 21-year-old small forward. If he continues to develop his game, Rondo believes that Ingram can be “one of the next best defensive players” in the NBA.
“He’s a lot better defensive player than I thought,” Rondo said, via ESPN. “You don’t think much of him as a defensive player, at least I didn’t, but for this team, in particular, it’s big for us. He should lead us in steals, deflections, blocks. He can do it all. Switch 1 through 5. I’m very impressed by the way he plays defensively. He’s only getting stronger. He’s 21 years old, so like I said he’s definitely one of, should be one of the next best defensive players we have in our league.”
— CBS Sports NBA (@CBSSportsNBA) September 25, 2018
Since being drafted as the No. 2 overall pick in 2016, Brandon Ingram has already shown a massive improvement in his performance on both ends of the floor. In the 59 games he played last season, Ingram averaged 16.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.9 assists on 47.0 percent shooting from the field and 39.0 percent from beyond the arc. Despite his thin physique, Rajon Rondo expects Ingram to be one of the players who will lead the Lakers in steals and blocks in the upcoming 2018-19 NBA season.
Meanwhile, after playing against each other for 13 years, Rajon Rondo and LeBron James will finally share the court as teammates. Rondo sees James as a better leader — and added that he is someone that he can trust to give orders inside the court. Though there are still questions about how they can coexist, Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton was very impressed with what he sees in the blooming James and Rondo relationship, describing their communication as “brilliant.”
With Lonzo Ball still recovering from an injury, Rajon Rondo is set to join LeBron James in the starting lineup as the Lakers’ temporary starting point guard. If Rondo and James show good chemistry, it will not be a surprise if Walton permanently gives the veteran point guard the starting role on their team.