The Cavaliers are set to acquire Rajon Rondo from the Lakers in exchange for Denzel Valentine, which will mark the first trade of the 2021/22 regular season. Valentine, who’s on a partially guaranteed contract, is expected to be waived by Los Angeles.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (via Twitter), Rondo is enthusiastic about the opportunity to play more minutes with the young Cavs and was happy to learn of the trade after the Lakers informed him that it was a possibility.
Here are some more details on the transaction, which has yet to be officially completed:
- In an Insider article for ESPN-plus, Kevin Pelton grades the trade for both teams. He likes the Lakers’ side of things more and isn’t optimistic about Rondo’s performance for the remainder of the regular season.
- John Hollinger of The Athletic, however, thinks it’s a deal that makes sense for both the Cavs and the Lakers. Hollinger notes that Cleveland is desperate for another ball-handler after season-ending injuries to Ricky Rubio and Collin Sexton, and with Darius Garland and Cedi Osman still in the health and safety protocols. With Rondo as a short-term solution, the Cavs will buy themselves some time to remain in the playoff hunt, but Hollinger thinks they’ll still be active on the trade market in search for more backcourt help. The Lakers, meanwhile, save approximately $3.1MM in luxury tax payments and free up a roster spot, presumably to sign Stanley Johnson.
- Bobby Marks of ESPN provides a video breakdown of his thoughts on the trade. Like Hollinger, Marks thinks the deal is a win-win for both teams, with the Lakers saving money and opening a roster spot, and Rondo providing leadership and high basketball IQ to the Cavs. He views it as a no-risk deal for Cleveland.