Rajon Rondo appears likely to join the Lakers after he clears waivers on Monday, even though the team can only offer a veteran’s minimum contract, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Rondo reached a buyout agreement on Saturday with the Grizzlies, who apparently never had any intention of keeping the veteran guard after acquiring him from the Clippers two weeks ago. Details on the buyout haven’t been made available, but he was set to make a base salary of $7.5MM in the final season of a two-year contract.
Rondo is reportedly eager to return to L.A. and rejoin the franchise where he won an NBA title in 2019/20. The Lakers are over the salary cap and already used their taxpayer mid-level exception to add former Heat guard Kendrick Nunn.
There’s more from Los Angeles:
- The Lakers were “strongly considering” adding Isaiah Thomas to their roster, but Rondo’s buyout has “clearly changed things,” tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Thomas worked out for the team earlier this month, along with Darren Collison and Mike James, and is hoping to find a way back to the NBA after playing just three games for the Pelicans last season.
- Center DeAndre Jordan could be a candidate for the Lakers if he agrees to a buyout with the Nets, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne suggested on a recent appearance on the “Mason & Ireland” show (hat tip to Dan Feldman of NBC Sports). Shelburne speculates that any move won’t happen until midseason, although a report this week stated that Jordan may not be with Brooklyn when training camps open September 28. The veteran center, who played the first 10 seasons of his career with the cross-town Clippers, is owed nearly $20MM over the next two years.
- Appearing on Sirius XM NBA Radio, assistant coach Phil Handy cautioned that there’s still a lot of work to do after the offseason talent upgrade (hat tip to Corey Hansford of Lakers Nation). “Paper doesn’t win championships for us,” Handy said. “Those names that are on that paper, are some phenomenal names. … We gotta do our work and make sure we gel. Do we fit? These guys, they gotta figure out ways to play with each other and sacrifice, and let their names take over.”