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Rajon Rondo will garner interest from Lakers, others in free agency

Rajon Rondo, Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo wants to test free agency rather than pick up his option for next season.

Rondo signed a two-year, $5.18 million contract with L.A. in the summer of 2019, which includes a player option for 2021 at about $2.7 million. Fresh off an outstanding playoff run in the bubble, one can understand why the 34-year old wants to explore his value on the market.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Rondo believes there will be a healthy market for his leadership and IQ.

“Rondo cemented his role as a leader for the Lakers in the bubble, serving as something of a player/coach and providing guidance across the roster,” Charania writes. “Sources said Rondo is expected to decline his option, and he will have interest from the Lakers and others believing he is a piece to build on a championship roster.”

Players frequently opt-out of contracts or decline options in order to secure a more lucrative long-term deal with their current team, which is what Rondo could be aiming for. His superstar teammate, Anthony Davis, will likely do the same and re-sign in L.A. on a max deal.

During an appearance on ESPN’s First Take on Tuesday, Rondo revealed some insight into his offseason plans.

“I’m definitely going to entertain it,” Rondo said about his upcoming free agency. “Obviously, always thinking about running it back with a great group of guys and coaching staff. I can’t thank those guys enough for giving me a shot the last couple of years. It’s been amazing playing for this organization.”

Rondo averaged 7.1 points and 5.0 assists in 20.5 minutes per game during the 2019-20 regular season. In the playoffs, he put up 8.9 points, 6.6 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game, and shot 40% from three-point range on 3.1 attempts per game. Most importantly, LeBron James’ respect for Rondo’s brain is well-documented.

The Lakers title not only tied the Boston Celtics for the most championships in NBA history (17), it also put Rondo in extremely exclusive company as the second player ever to earn a ring with both storied organizations.