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Nikola Mirotic sad to see Rajon Rondo leave the Pelicans

Nikola Mirotic

It seems that New Orleans Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic is not enamored by Rajon Rondo’s move to the Los Angeles Lakers. After news broke that the four-time All-Star point guard has agreed to a one-year deal worth $9 million with the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, Mirotic tried to express his feelings about the transaction in the form of three sad face emojis on Twitter.

Although Mirotic didn’t point out the exact cause of his melancholic mood, the timing of his tweet implies that it’s related to Rondo’s departure from New Orleans.

Mirotic, like most other players who have played with Rondo, has held a high esteem for the court general’s sublime ability to set up scoring opportunities. As a spot-up shooter, Mirotic was often a target of Rondo’s dishes. Despite Rondo’s shortcomings as a scorer himself, the Pelicans averaged 48.8 points per game when Rondo and Mirotic are on the floor at the same time. That production leaped to 65.2 points per game in the postseason, where Playoff Rondo showed up, much to the benefit of Mirotic and the Pelicans.

Mirotic averaged 14.6 points in 30 games in the regular season for the Pelicans since being traded to New Orleans by the Chicago Bulls back in February for a 2018 first-round pick, Tony Allen, Omer Asik, and Jameer Nelson.

With Rajon Rondo gone in New Orleans, Nikola Mirotic can still get looks from Elfrid Payton, a pass-first guard with a broken jumper just like Rondo. Payton has agreed to a deal with the Pellies and will now be Rondo’s replacement.