With the 2015 NBA Draft now officially in the books, general manager Mitch Kupchak and company will direct their attention to NBA free agency. The Los Angeles Lakers will have some cap space to burn and will attempt to continue bolstering an already promising young roster.
One free-agent-to-be constantly mentioned as a target for the Lakers in free agency is veteran point guard Rajon Rondo. Now that D’Angelo Russell is a part of the team’s long-term future, Rondo may no longer be a player of interest for Los Angeles come July 1, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News:
The Lakers had long been connected with point guard Rajon Rondo in free agency, in part because of his friendship with star Kobe Bryant, but the addition of Russell ends that possibility. One source, when asked about Rondo going to the Lakers, simply said, “Doubtful.”
Drafting Russell over Duke’s Jahlil Okafor signaled a major shift in the thought process of the Lakers brass. The franchise has started to catch on with the trend of playing small and there was no better option than bringing in Russell with the second overall pick.
With Russell and Jordan Clarkson potentially a dynamic duo in the backcourt for years to come, the Lakers will put all their energy in upgrading the frontcourt in free agency. Obviously, this leaves Rondo out of the equation in Los Angeles.
The main targets for the Lakers in free agency will be Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre Jordan. Love has always been the big-name player many believed would eventually land in Los Angeles, but now it appears the Lakers may have a better shot at signing Aldridge.
Needless to say, Rondo, or any other backcourt player hitting the free agent market this summer, is no longer considered a priority for the Lakers. Aldridge and Love will be atop the team’s wish list with a decent chance of one of the two veteran forwards signing with Los Angeles.