Cavaliers To Acquire Rajon Rondo From Lakers

DECEMBER 31, 11:17am: There are no other assets such as draft picks or cash included in the trade, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic (Twitter link), who says it’s a straight swap: Rondo for Valentine.

Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link) provides some financial details on the deal, noting that each team will generate a small traded player exception.

DECEMBER 31, 10:08am: The Lakers will trade Rondo to the Cavaliers, according to Charania (via Twitter).

Sources tell Wojnarowski that Cleveland will send Denzel Valentine to Los Angeles in the deal. The Lakers are expected to waive Valentine, who has a partially guaranteed contract, Woj adds. That would open up a spot on L.A.’s 15-man roster and could save the team some money, depending on how long that roster spot remains open.

So far, there’s no indication that any other assets are involved in the swap, but it’s not yet official, so more details could trickle in.

DECEMBER 30, 5:30pm: The Cavaliers are in serious discussions with the Lakers to acquire point guard Rajon Rondo, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports (via Twitter). ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets that the deal is expected to be completed as soon as Friday.

Cleveland lost Ricky Rubio to a season-ending torn left ACL on Wednesday and is seeking point depth in the veteran Rondo, who’s currently sidelined due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

In 18 games this season (16.1 MPG), the 35-year-old Rondo is averaging 3.1 PPG, 2.7 RPG, and 3.7 APG. The four-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion has seen his minutes and games played reduced in recent years, but he’s known for turning things up a notch in the playoffs. Given the Cavs’ lack of guard depth, acquiring Rondo could be a decent move, as Darius Garland has shown he can play well with other strong passers like Rubio.

Kevin Pangos, the only other point guard on Cleveland’s roster, will get his first career start Thursday against the Wizards, per Chris Fedor of (Twitter link). Garland is currently sidelined in the protocols, leading to a big opportunity for Pangos. He was one of the better players in Europe over the past handful of years, so it will be interesting to monitor how he performs in his first prime-time action.

It’s not yet known what other pieces may be included in a Rondo deal, but a player technically isn’t required in return, since the point guard is on a one-year veteran’s minimum contract, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN.

Lamar Stevens, Dean Wade and Ed Davis are all on non-guaranteed deals for the Cavaliers, while Denzel Valentine‘s contract is partially guaranteed at $500K (he’s already earned more than that by sticking with the team this long). Of the four players, I believe Valentine or Davis are the most likely to be traded/waived, as Wade and Stevens are both younger players the Cavs have developed over time.

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