Lakers’ Rajon Rondo Seeking Significant Pay Raise After Opting Out

Getty Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Rajon Rondo of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Rajon Rondo’s stock hasn’t been this high in quite some time and the veteran point guard is reportedly looking to capitalize in a big way this offseason as a free agent.

Rondo played for just over $2.5 million last season with the Los Angeles Lakers and has declined his player option for next season that would have given him just a slight bump in pay.

Instead, Rondo is expected to try his hand in free agency, where he will seek mid-level money, per Bobby Marks.

“From what I heard, he’s looking for that mid-level number which is right around $9 million, I think it’s going to be hard for him to get that out in free agency,” Marks said on the Mason and Ireland Show (h/t The Lakers Review).

Rajon Rondo Still an Asset for Contending Teams

It’s unlikely Rondo will sign with a team that is not a contender. He does his best work when the pressure is on and the stakes are high, hence his “Playoff Rondo” persona.

During the Lakers championship run he averaged 24.7 minutes in the postseason, 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 in the playoffs. His leadership and ability to make plays with the second unit helped the Lakers turn the tide in a handful of games.

The Best Of Rajon Rondo From the 2020 #NBAPlayoffsRajon Rondo has been a difference-maker for the Lakers this postseason! Watch some of his best plays from the #NBAPlayoffs! #NBAFinals Game 3 ▶ Sunday at 7:30 PM ET ABC! Subscribe to the NBA: Full Game Highlights Playlist: For news, stories, highlights and more, go to our official website at Get NBA…2020-10-03T16:00:01Z

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel was not shy to help some praise on Rondo, even backing the sentiment that he could be a coach down the line.

“He’s got a genius mind,” Vogel said during the playoffs. “I think it starts there and when you have been in uniform in the battles he’s been through, won a championship, numerous playoff experiences, he’s really seen it all.

“When the time comes, and hopefully it’s not too soon, he will be an outstanding coach.”

Clippers Also Interested in Rajon Rondo

There’s a chance Rondo stays in Los Angeles, just not with the Lakers. The Clippers are planning to pursue Rondo, per Marc Stein of The New York Times. He noted, however, that the Lakers are determined to bring Rondo back next season as a key member of their rotation.

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. Rondo would give the Clippers a new, unique piece to play off stars Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, much like he did Anthony Davis and LeBron James. That is if the Clippers decide to keep their current core together for next season.

When it comes to the Lakers, they’ll have to evaluate if there is a better option than Rondo in free agency to upgrade the roster. But they’ll likely not go to battle with teams who are willing to offer Rondo the type of money he’s reportedly looking for.

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