Here is why the Los Angeles Lakers must re-sign Rajon Rondo.
The Los Angeles Lakers began their offseason with a splash as they have agreed to trade for Anthony Davis. The superstar big man enjoyed one of his best seasons with free agent Rajon Rondo in New Orleans in 2017-18. The Lakers must look to retain Rondo this summer.
Rajon Rondo played in 46 games last season with the Lakers. He missed time with a right finger injury. On the season, he averaged 9.2 points, 8 assists, and 5.3 rebounds. Impressive numbers for a 33-year-old veteran, who even came off the bench in 17 contests.
Trading for Davis came at an expensive price, as they gave up Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks. With the losses of the three players who play mostly on the perimeter, the Lakers don’t have any guards with experience under contract.
Reggie Bullock, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Lance Stephenson, Alex Caruso, and Rondo are all free agents. The only Lakers guard who is under contract is Isaac Bonga, who will be entering his second season. Bonga only played in 22 games averaging less than six minutes per contest.
This means, the Lakers will have their work cut out for them. It’s unlikely they sign all of the guys that played last season. One can argue that re-signing Rajon Rondo should be one of their priorities.
The first being, that he is a point guard. The lead guard spot is the most important in basketball, and the Lakers don’t even have one at this moment. Even if they were to go out and sign someone like Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker, Rondo would be able to come off the bench. If Rondo was willing to come off the bench for promising but young guard Lonzo Ball, then he will have no issue this time around.
The second reason is that Rondo he has experience with Anthony Davis. In 2017-18. Rondo averaged 8.3 points and 8.2 assists on the Pelicans alongside Davis. New Orleans had their most successful season they had in more than a decade. That season the Pelicans swept the Portland Trail Blazers, before losing in five games to the Golden State Warriors in the conference semifinals. Davis averaged 28.1 points and 11.1 rebounds that season. He tied a career-high in field goal percentage (53 percent). One can easily point to Rondo being a factor in that aspect.
Not only is Rondo a great playmaker but he is an improving shooter. Rondo shot 36 percent from three-point range. The mark is much higher than the rest of the Lakers who combined to shoot 33 percent from distance. Rondo is far from a shooter, but he can at least space the floor enough to keep the defense honest.
It doesn’t seem like the Lakers will have a problem in keeping Rondo if they reach out. When asked about returning to the Lakers he said:
Absolutely. I mean, the only way we can go from here is up.
Keeping Rondo is a low-risk, high-reward move. It’s what one would call a safe move. He already has experience with both James and Davis.
He can come off the bench or start, and he is a veteran who can help lead the Lakers. Rondo is only a call away, it’s time for Rob Pelinka to get on the line.