One way or another, Rajon Rondo tends to find his way to championship contenders. The veteran point guard is one of only two players in NBA history to win championships with the Lakers and Celtics, and after a disappointing stint with the Hawks, he almost added a third ring to his collection after a Mid-season swap at Los Angeles Mowers. Now Rondo finds himself on a non-competitor again, although it doesn’t look like he’ll stick with one for very long.
The Clippers distributed Rondo to the Memphis Grizzlies in a package to acquire fellow veteran point guard Eric Bledsoe. The primary motivation for the deal for the Grizzlies was to acquire Patrick Beverley, which they then returned to the Minnesota Timberwolves for former lottery pick Jarrett Culver. The Clippers included Rondo in the deal to take away his $ 8 million salary and save a spot on a list that had become overcrowded. The Grizzlies were ready to take Rondo, but with Ja Morant and Tyus Jones at the playmaker and such a blockage at the shooting guard that they needed to deal with Grayson Allen, there are simply no minutes left. to wait for Rondo in Memphis.
In fact, there is probably no place for the list. The Grizzlies have 19 players under contract and will need to reduce that number to 15 on opening night. According to Drew Hill of Daily Memphian, that means Rondo is unlikely to start the season with the Grizzlies. While a trade is possible, few teams have the flexibility of the cap, the flexibility of the roster, and the need for the point guard to take their $ 8 million salary. In all likelihood, this means that a redemption is coming.
Rondo is probably not worth $ 8 million at this point in his career. The âRondo Playoffsâ myth finally seemed to come to a conclusion last season when Rondo, after a 2020 playoffs with the Lakers, averaged just 4.2 points and 3.8 assists per game in a very limited playoff role as Clipper. Ty Lue took him out of the rotation altogether for the last three games of the Western Conference Finals, and if he is no longer able to raise his level of play for the greatest moments, his regular season drawbacks make it, at best, a minimum. salary player.
But at the very least, contenders will surely take a look. The Golden State Warriors attempted to sign Patty Mills with their mid-tier taxpayer exception to support Stephen Curry, but were ultimately pushed back as Mills joined the Brooklyn Nets instead. They haven’t signed any other options and will likely open the season with Jordan Poole as playmaker. Poole impressed last season, but if the Warriors want a more experienced option, Rondo would make sense. Steve Kerr likes high IQ players for his complicated movement attack, and Rondo would fit in perfectly.
The Philadelphia 76ers have also been looking for guards this offseason, but Daryl Morey tends to focus on shooting. If Ben Simmons is to stay on this list, adding shooters will be crucial, but if not, the fit between the two could be awkward. To be fair to Rondo, however, he’s shot 35.8% from behind the arc over the past six seasons, roughly the league average. His small volume still limits his gravity off the ball, but he’s not the non-shooter he once was.
The Lakers know this well. They won a championship with him in 2020, but they’ve already added a number of guards this offseason. Russell Westbrook will start as point guard, and Kendrick Nunn, Malik Monk and Talen Horton-Tucker all need the ball. This suggests Rondo would have a hard time finding minutes, but the Lakers have trained a number of guards in hopes of finding one more for depth purposes. Their comfort with Rondo suggests he would be on their list if he became available.
Rondo is nearing the end of his career, but counting it entirely has proven insane on several occasions. Rondo resurrected his career after a disastrous stint in Dallas. He proved Playoff Rondo to be real after two disappointing regular seasons with the Lakers. Now he’s hoping to prove that he still has something in the tank, and even if an obvious home hasn’t come up, a contender is almost certainly going to bet he can still contribute this season.