Count Rajon Rondo as the latest free agent to join LeBron James with the Los Angeles Lakers. As has become the norm, Rondo is signing a one-year, $9 million deal, per Sam Amick. Let’s take a look at the updated roster the Lakers have put together. Keep in mind, Los Angeles is likely to continue to add to this throughout free agency.
Los Angeles has added several players in less than 24 hours since James committed to the Lakers. To make room for Rondo, the Lakers have renounced the rights to Julius Randle, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Lakers Roster & Starting Lineup With LeBron James for 2018-19
C- JaVale McGee, Mo Wagner, Ivica Zubac
PF- Kyle Kuzma, Isaac Bonga
SF- Brandon Ingram, Luol Deng, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
SG- LeBron James, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Lance Stephenson, Josh Hart
PG- Lonzo Ball, Rajon Rondo, Alex Caruso
Lakers free agents: Julius Randle (UFA), Brook Lopez (UFA), Channing Frye (UFA), Travis Wear (RFA), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (UFA), Andre Ingram (RFA), Gary Payton II (RFA), Isaiah Thomas (UFA)
As of now, we’re giving the edge to Lonzo Ball for the starting position, but fans can expect Rondo to be competing for the spot. With Ball sidelined this summer with a torn meniscus injury, Rondo could begin the season as the starter. According to Heat Hoops Albert Nahmad, the Rondo signing along with renouncing Randle leaves the Lakers with about $5.7 million of cap room.
The Lakers continue to sign players to one year deals showing their commitment to preserving cap space for next summer when Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler and others will all be free agents. Amick also reported, per Hoops Hype, that DeMarcus Cousins is enamored with the idea of playing with James.
I don’t know much this is worth in terms of his decision-making, but I’ve definitely heard that [DeMarcus] is extremely interested, if not obsessed, with the idea of playing with LeBron James. That may be a little strong, but it’s a really compelling idea for him. LeBron has called him ‘the best big man in the league’ before and my understanding is that LeBron is, at a minimum, intrigued. I think he has questions about what it would be like to play with him, but respects the heck out of his talent. That’s an interesting possible landing spot for him… I wouldn’t be shocked if he went there. I’ll be honest. I know it sounds crazy, and we don’t know what that deal would look like, but it’s not even just his interest in LeBron. That’s [a factor], but this is sort of a perfect storm because he’s always had an affinity for the Lakers in general. When the Lakers were at their worst, they still interested DeMarcus. I think he would like to play on that stage… But the pragmatic thing [to do] is go back to New Orleans, but I don’t know what that deal would look like.
Cousins may be intrigued by the Lakers, but is he going to be willing to take a massive pay cut? The Lakers have less than $6 million in cap space, and would likely only be willing to sign Cousins to a one-year deal. According to Spotrac, Cousins made $18.06 million last season. Prior to tearing his ACL, Cousins was thought to be one of the players in the running for a max contract.