There is no way around it. Rondo is one of the smartest players in the NBA. It has been reiterated by players, coaches and analysts. He is one of the most brilliant basketball minds to step on the floor today and a devoted student of the game.
Having him and James on the same team meant Frank Vogel could count on two unbelievable intellects to lead the team on the floor and a great decision-making apparatus.
Rajon was always on the front line to conduct his teammates on the floor, even when out. When he talks, people listen. He knows how to direct a game, the impact of a play, but also how to make his teammates play their best game.
Most of all, he has a great playoff experience and knows how to lead a team through playoffs, handling the pressure, stepping up in big moments and advising his peers.
His presence on the team was instrumental to attract DeMarcus Cousins (although he never played) and Avery Bradley, whom he mentored in Boston. They know what it means to play with him and what he provides.
Everybody follows him.
The Los Angeles Lakers would lose a one of a kind player with an unquantifiable added value to the performance, that makes all the difference in the world when it comes to playoffs and critical situations. An individual who knows how to win and how to manage those around him for that purpose.