Clippers Eyeing Lakers Veteran Rajon Rondo in Free Agency

Getty LeBron James with Rajon Rondo of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Rajon Rondo will have multiple suitors when free agency begins after a strong postseason run with the Los Angeles Lakers, and the latest team reportedly interested in the 34-year-old point guard is the Clippers.

The Clippers are planning to pursue Rondo, per Marc Stein of The New York Times. He notes, however, that the Lakers are determined to bring Rondo back next season as a key member of their rotation.

Rondo is expected to opt-out of his $2.7 million player option next season to test the open market, but that doesn’t mean he’s looking to leave the Lakers, who he has played with the last two seasons.

Rondo had his ups and downs during the season but lived up to his “Playoff Rondo” persona once the postseason rolled around. He averaged 24.7 minutes in the playoffs, rebounding from a fractured thumb he suffered during a practice in the bubble. He put up 8.9 points, 6.6 assists and 4.3 rebounds during the postseason. His leadership and ability to make plays with the second unit helped the Lakers turn the tide in a handful of games.

Clippers Thin at Point Guard

Los Angeles Clippers v Los Angeles Lakers

GettyLeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers pushes Patrick Beverly.

The Clippers are in need of depth at the point guard position. Patrick Beverley was the starter and is under contract for next season, but did not prove especially effective last season. Beverly started 50 games last season, playing 26.3 minutes per game and averaging 7.9 points and 3.6 assists.

The Clippers signed veteran Reggie Jackson last season after he agreed to a buyout with the Pistons, but he will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Lou Williams is stellar off the bench, but is a very much a score-first guard. Rondo would give the Clippers a unique piece to play off stars Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. That is if the Clippers decide to keep their current core together for next season.

Rajon Rondo Has Said He’ll Entertain Free Agency

Getty ImagesRajon Rondo in Game 6 of the 2020 NBA Finals

Considering Rondo is playing on the veteran’s minimum, it’s only fair that he decides to see what he can get on the open market.

“I’m definitely going to entertain it,” Rondo said when asked about free agency during a spot on ESPN’s First Take. “Obviously, always thinking about running it back with a great group of guys and coaching staff. I can’t thank those guys enough for giving me a shot the last couple of years. It’s been amazing playing for this organization.

“My agent and I will sit down and talk, but right now, I’m just kind of enjoying the moment, continuing to ride this high out. I don’t want to think about free agency right now; I’ve got a couple of months to do that as well. Right now, I’m going to enjoy the time with my family, friends, take a lot of great vacations and keep enjoying life.”

Rondo wasn’t just an invaluable asset during games, but was a key piece off the court thanks to his basketball IQ, preparation and experience. Alex Caruso said an injured Rondo was mentoring him from afar and credited him for bringing him another dimension to the team.

“Obviously we’re excited for him to be back because he brings something to this team that I don’t think anybody else can do, just with the experience and the way he plays in the playoffs,” Caruso told SB Nation. “Understanding coverages and understanding what we’re trying to do with our schemes and our game plan, and then applying it into the game. He’s one of the most vocal people I’ve ever played with. I’m just excited to have him back. He brings a different dimension to our team that I don’t think anybody else can.”

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