The Los Angeles Clippers sent former Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams, along with two future second-round draft picks to the Atlanta Hawks in late March to acquire veteran point guard Rajon Rondo. The goal for L.A. was to improve upon the sometimes-shoddy defense Williams played while also adding a proven winner with strong postseason acumen in Rondo.
A two-time NBA champ (he won with the Boston Celtics in 2008 and again with the Los Angeles Lakers last year), the Clips had hoped they’d be getting some of the “Playoff Rondo” magic the veteran had displayed so many times before. But instead, Rondo averaged a career-worst 4.2 points in his 13 postseason games with the Clips (his career average in the playoffs is 12.5 points), and L.A. drew criticism for making the trade in the first place.
Now, one analyst thinks Rondo may be on the move again.
Analyst Thinks Rondo Could Be Prime Trade Chip for Clippers
In his 18 regular season games with the Clippers, Rondo averaged 7.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 5.8 assists. There were moments when he made a definite impact, but they were few and far between.
Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report thinks Rondo’s days with the Clips may be numbered:
The Los Angeles Clippers’ offseason focus should be on free agency,” Hughes began. “They’ve got to decide what to offer Kawhi Leonard, assuming he declines his player option ahead of a season he may spend—partially or entirely—rehabbing a torn ACL. After that, they’ve got Reggie Jackson and Nicolas Batum’s unrestricted status to fret over. Both will command raises above last year’s rates. If L.A. manages those concerns, it can turn its attention to a trade. Marcus Morris Sr. ($15.6 million), Patrick Beverley ($14.3), Luke Kennard ($12.7), Serge Ibaka ($9.7 million player option) and Rajon Rondo ($8.3 million) could all be part of a deal to add a starrier name.
The idea Ty Lue and company will be looking to add a more marquee name this offseason has been circulating for months, and it doesn’t seem like a stretch at all to assume Rondo could be shipped off as part of a package deal. If that happens, it would be the shortest stint of his 14-year career.
Hughes: ‘Rondo Seems Most Dispensable’
Hughes cited Rondo’s hefty price tag in relation to his lackluster production as a primary reason the Clips may want to part ways with him.
“Rondo seems most dispensable,” Hughes wrote. “Jackson shone in the playoffs, and if he and Beverley are both back, Rondo is a costly third point guard who’ll be playing his age-35 season. Worse than Jackson offensively and Beverley defensively, Rondo may not play enough to justify his salary. Kennard is a capable facilitator as well, which only further marginalizes Rondo’s on-court value. The Clips may not trade anyone at all, but of their options, Rondo makes the most sense.”
With superstar Kawhi Leonard out for an indefinite amount of time recovering from knee surgery, the Clippers are going to need to address their lineup in a big way this offseason. We’ll see if Rondo is a part of the shuffle yet again.