The Los Angeles Lakers traded Rajon Rondo to the Cleveland Cavaliers this week for Denzel Valentine, who they will waive.
Rondo joining the Lakers this season was initially billed as a big move. He had played a massive role in the team’s title run two years ago, and understandably, many believed that that he may do something similar this time around.
Unfortunately, the 35-year-old has played a minimal role for LA in 2021. He made far more noise for his legendary Halloween costume than anything he actually did on the court.
Prior to getting dealt Rondo hadn’t played in 14 of the Lakers’ last 19 games. For the year, he averaged 3.1 points and 3.7 assists in 16.1 minutes per game.
Freeing up a roster spot at Rondo’s expense made sense for Los Angeles. But how does Rondo feel about it?
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Rondo welcomes the change.
“Rondo is eager for the chance to play a bigger role with an ascending Cavaliers team in the absence of Ricky Rubio, sources said. He has been positive on the deal since it was presented to him as an option Thursday.”
Rondo loves mentoring young players, so the opportunity to play a foundational role or an up-and-coming Cavaliers group makes a ton of sense.
Coming into the season there was a lot of chatter about his relationship with Russell Westbrook and how the pair would be able to mesh as teammates.
That’s certainly one way to dress to a Miami Heat game. https://t.co/hc5B0pztRq
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 29, 2021
In the end – none of it matters. Rondo is gone, and Westbrook is on his way out of LA.
What impact will Rondo ultimately be able to have on the Cavs? Time will tell.