Back to L.A. As expected, Rajon Rondo will return to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Following days of reports indicating that Rondo would sign in L.A. on Monday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Rondo plans to re-join the Lakers on the veteran’s minimum after reaching a buyout with the Memphis Grizzlies. Rondo agreed to give back the same money to the Grizzlies.
Rajon Rondo plans to sign a one-year, $2.6M deal with the Lakers upon clearing waivers today, sources tell ESPN. He agreed to a contract buyout with Memphis on Saturday. Rondo will still make his full $7.5M salary this season between buyout and new deal. https://t.co/ehFzHb6pVC
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 30, 2021
(Once again, Lakers fans can thank the Memphis Grizzlies.)
Rondo, 35, played an integral role during the Lakers’ 2019-20 run to the NBA championship in the bubble less than one year ago. He averaged 8.9 points, 6.6 assists, 4.3 steals, and 1.4 steals per game and shot 40% from three in the postseason, and provided immeasurable value in the film room.
Last season, Frank Vogel, LeBron James, and others repeatedly lauded Rondo’s intelligence and lamented his absence. Overall, he averaged 8.1 points and 6.5 assists per game for the Lakers across two seasons.
Last November, the Lakers opted against re-signing the five-time All-Star, and he instead signed a two-year deal with the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks dealt him in a midseason trade to the Los Angeles Clippers. He played 31 games with the Clips, including the playoffs, but failed to make the same impact as he did with the Lakers.
Adding Rondo makes sense for multiple reasons. L.A. was seeking another point guard, and Rondo brings established chemistry with LeBron, Anthony Davis, and Vogel amid an entirely overhauled roster.
Rajon Rondo marks the fifth former Laker to sign up for a return to L.A. this summer, joining Dwight Howard, Kent Bazemore, Wayne Ellington, and Trevor Ariza. As a four-time All-Star, he brings the team’s cumulative count of career All-Star selections to… 58.
LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Marc Gasol, Dwight Howard, Russell Westbrook and Rajon Rondo were all All-Stars in 2012, the season before Anthony Davis came to the NBA.
Now they are all teammates in Los Angeles. https://t.co/ncxLACF7O5
— Matt Williams (@StatsWilliams) August 30, 2021