While teams around the league have been making moves in free agency, the Los Angeles Lakers have been fairly quiet. Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka intend to be big spenders next summer, which means that precious cap space has to be preserved this year. However, the Lakers have pursued a few players, including veteran point guard Rajon Rondo.
If Los Angeles wants to keep cap space available to chase stars like Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins, LeBron James, and Russell Westbrook next summer, they can only offer Rondo a one-year deal. While it’s not clear if this will be enough to land the former All-Star, both sides have interest in a deal. According to Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News, the Lakers have been doing their due diligence, calling former teammates and coaches of Rondo to find out more info:
As for the Lakers, they had inquired about Rondo with numerous former teammates and coaches in recent days, according to a league source familiar with the situation. After Rondo’s representatives initiated talks shortly after free agency began on Friday, the Lakers viewed Rondo as someone that could play both as a reserve and in a starting role along with rookie point guard Lonzo Ball. The Lakers also see Rondo as someone who could become a positive mentor for Lonzo.
While the Lakers landed their point guard of the future when they drafted Lonzo Ball with the second overall pick in the NBA Draft, the thinking is that he could use a veteran mentor to help show him the ropes in the NBA. Some could question whether Rondo is the right person to mentor young talent, but the young players on the Bulls reportedly loved Rondo.
Regardless, the Lakers are clearly doing their due diligence on anyone they hope to sign. While they were unable to land some of the larger names like Gordon Hayward or George Hill, Los Angeles will continue scouring the free agent market it search of a few players who are willing to sign up on a one-year deal.