Clippers, Celtics Trying To Steal Rajon Rondo From Lakers?

Clippers, Celtics Trying To Steal Rajon Rondo From Lakers?

Rajon Rondo played an instrumental role in the Los Angeles Lakers winning their 17th championship in franchise history this year.

Less than a week after wining his second career title, Rondo opted out of his contract with the Lakers to become an unrestricted free agent.

Rondo’s player option was worth $2.7 million. Because of the way minimum contracts are set up, the second year is actually worth five percent more than the first. Meaning, if he were to sign another minimum deal with someone else, due to him being in the first year of it, he would actually end up making less than he would’ve gotten had he not opted out and stayed on for a second year at the minimum with the Lakers. In layman’s terms: he’s taking a bit of a risk.

The bet here on Rondo’s part is obvious. He believes he will command a higher salary on the open market due to his 2019-20 playoff showing, or that the Lakers will simply reward him for his hard work this past season. Both are fair assumptions.

Over the course of the postseason, more often than not, there was a legitimate case to be made that Rondo was the Lakers’ third most important player behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Other teams saw that as well. Namely: the Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics.

As the Clippers proved during their second round series against the Denver Nuggets, they lack any sort of legitimate playmaker. Patrick Beverley is a persistent defender, but he cannot run an offense.

According to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Kawhi Leonard has privately lobbied the organization to add a real point guard to the roster.

“They clearly need a point guard,” Smith said on First Take recently.

“Everybody knows it and Kawhi Leonard privately has clamored for one. It’s not that he wants them to get rid of Patrick Beverley, but Patrick Beverley is basically a defensive ace who’s small and has to play opposing guards. So, they need a point guard that can run a team and can shoot.”

Rondo can definitely run the offense, and though he is a bit of a streaky shooter, he would be a significant upgrade over what the team presently has.

If not the Clippers, Boston will also likely take a serious look at signing Rondo.

Brad Wanamaker is a decent player and would work well on a number of other rosters as a backup guard, but he is not someone who will elevate a unit to title contention. That is what Rondo did for the Lakers this past year in the playoffs, and that is what he would do for the Celtics given the opportunity.

Obviously Rondo has already won one championship in Boston and is familiar with the franchise, so comfortability with the overall environment definitely would not be an issue.

All in all – the best landing spot for Rondo still remains the Lakers. He fit in perfectly with this year’s group, and he has the respect of both James and Davis. It is fair to say that this year’s title likely would not have been won if he were not a member of the squad.

If Rob Pelinka is smart, he will let some of the less valuable free agents walk – and then promptly sign Rondo to a modest but fair deal.

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Anthony Amador

A graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.

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