Rajon Rondo

Lakers Notes: Borrego, Brooks, Rondo, St. Jean, Redick, Prince

Pelicans assistant James Borrego had an in-person meeting with the Lakers on Wednesday about their vacant head-coaching position, according to Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times. Anthony Davis thinks highly of Borrego, Woike writes.

The Lakers had previously met with Borrego, but according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link), that was more of a “get-to-know-you” session. Today’s meeting was more in-depth and Wojnarowski says Los Angeles will look to bring in more candidates for second interviews in the coming days and weeks.

Borrego was a longtime NBA assistant before being hired by the Hornets in 2018. He coached Charlotte for four seasons, compiling a 138-163 record.

As Woike writes, other staffing candidates linked to the Lakers include the previously reported Sam Cassell and Jared Dudley, as well as former Thunder and Wizards head coach Scott Brooks. Cassell was interviewed by the Lakers for their head-coaching role while Dudley was reported to be under consideration for an assistant role, depending on who is hired as head coach. Woike points out that Cassell (Boston) and Dudley (Dallas) could receive promotions from their own organizations after the playoffs.

We have more from the Lakers:

  • Former Lakers guard Rajon Rondo and former Lakers assistant Greg St. Jean are among other names under consideration for staff roles, again pending the head coach hire, according to Woike. Rondo played with the Lakers from 2018-20, winning a ring with Los Angeles in 2020. He also played there briefly in ’21/22. St. Jean spent last season as an assistant under Frank Vogel with the Suns.
  • While the Lakers are doing their due diligence with a multitude of coaching prospects, J.J. Redick still seems to be the favorite for the position, according to TNT and Bleacher Report’s Chris B. Haynes (Twitter link). “I will be very surprised if their next head coach is anybody but J.J. Redick,” Haynes said. “Everything that I’m hearing is J.J. Redick. From what I know he’s doing some background, calling some assistant coaching candidates who might be able to join his staff.
  • Taurean Prince was thrust into a significant role with the Lakers under former coach Darvin Ham and while he was relatively productive offensively (8.9 PPG, .396 3PT%), his defense took a step back until he moved back to the bench, Lakers Nation’s Matthew Valento writes. An unrestricted free agent this offseason, Prince expressed an interest in returning. “My family, the quality of life in Los Angeles is something that myself and my family haven’t had in probably three or four seasons,” Prince said. “So to stay here would be definitely number one. If not that, then I mean, wherever the dominoes fall and wherever it’s best, that’s where I’ll be. But I for sure want to be a Laker, 100%.

Rajon Rondo Confirms Retirement From NBA

Longtime NBA point guard Rajon Rondo confirmed during an appearance on the All the Smoke podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson (YouTube link) that he has retired as an NBA player.

Asked by Barnes if his NBA career is over, Rondo replied, “Absolutely,” adding that he wants to focus on spending time with his kids.

Rondo, 38, last played in the league during the 2021/22 season when he appeared in 39 total games for the Lakers and Cavaliers. He played in 957 regular season games and 134 additional postseason contests over the course of 16 years in the NBA, winning titles in 2008 with the Celtics and 2020 with the Lakers.

Rondo was never an elite scorer, but was a talented play-maker and defender who led the league in assists per game three times and made four All-Defensive teams. He also earned All-Star nods in four consecutive seasons in Boston from 2010-13 and was named to the All-NBA third team in 2012.

After spending the first eight-and-a-half years of his career with the Celtics, the former 21st overall out of Kentucky was traded to the Mavericks and spent the next several years bouncing around the NBA. In addition to Boston, Dallas, Cleveland and the Lakers, Rondo also suited up for the Kings, Bulls, Pelicans, Hawks, and Clippers.

The veteran point guard finished his career with regular season averages of 9.8 points, 7.9 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.6 steals in 29.9 minutes per game, with a shooting line of .456/.324/.611. He earned approximately $118MM in salary over the course of his career, per Basketball-Reference.

While his playing time and production declined in his later seasons, Rondo’s exit from the NBA may have been expedited by a series of legal issues in recent years. Most recently, he was arrested in Indiana this January for unlawful possession of a firearm, drug paraphernalia, and marijuana.

And-Ones: Cauley-Stein, Rondo, Curry/Ionescu, Silver, Morant

Longtime NBA big man Willie Cauley-Stein, whose last brief stint in the league came with the Rockets at the end of the 2022/23 season, has signed with Indios de Mayaguez, the Puerto Rican team announced (Facebook link).

The sixth overall pick in 2015, Cauley-Stein signed with Italian club Pallacanestro Varese last summer, but the two sides parted ways in December, freeing up the veteran center to join a new team.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Four-time NBA All-Star Rajon Rondo was arrested on Sunday in Indiana for unlawful possession of a firearm, drug paraphernalia, and marijuana, reports Jason Riley of WDRB.com. An initial court hearing has been scheduled for February 27. Rondo appeared in nearly 1,100 total regular season and playoff games from 2006-22 but hasn’t been in the NBA since finishing the 2021/22 season with Cleveland.
  • The NBA confirmed on Tuesday in a press release that Warriors star Stephen Curry and WNBA sharpshooter Sabrina Ionescu will compete in a one-on-one three-point contest for charity on All-Star Saturday next month. Ionescu, who racked up 37 of 40 possible points in the final round of last season’s WNBA three-point contest, will shoot from the WNBA three-point line using WNBA balls, while Curry shoots from the NBA three-point line using NBA balls.
  • Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press lays out why Adam Silver‘s contract extension as NBA commissioner was seemingly a “no-brainer,” noting that that seems to be the consensus among players around the league as well. “Our league, from the time that I came in until now, it’s 10 times better,” Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo said. “Everything’s more organized. … I think he’s done a tremendous job. He’s definitely a max player.”
  • Grizzlies star Ja Morant is launching an AAU basketball program called “Twelve Time” that will be based in South Carolina and Georgia. Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal has the story.

And-Ones: Rondo, Season Questions, EuroBasket

Veteran guard Rajon Rondo has agreed to a settlement with the woman who accused him and his girlfriend of assault and battery in 2020, according to TMZ.

As the report notes, Rondo was allegedly upset at the plaintiff for parking too close to his car. The altercation happened in a parking lot outside of an apartment complex. Rondo’s girlfriend was seen punching and causing injuries, while Rondo appeared to nudge the woman with his elbow.

The 36-year-old is currently a free agent. He played parts of 39 games with the Lakers and Cavaliers last season, averaging 4.8 points and 4.4 assists in 17.9 minutes per game on 39% shooting from the floor.

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

And-Ones: Summer League, Rondo, Offseason Questions, Key Dates

The Las Vegas Summer League will have 75 games spanning 11 days, the league announced in a press release, and the first day could bring some extra attention. The Magic, who own the No. 1 pick, will face the Rockets, who have the No. 3 pick in Thursday’s draft. The Summer League will feature all 30 NBA teams playing five games apiece.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • An emergency protective order filed last month against Rajon Rondo by the mother of his two children in Louisville, Kentucky has been dismissed, according to ESPN. The protective order, which was filed on May 13, was dismissed on Thursday after the “parties reached an agreement.” In the request for the protective order, the woman alleged Rondo threatened her with a gun and said that she feared for the safety of her children.
  • The Lakers’ moves to help LeBron James and Anthony Davis get back to championship contention, and Deandre Ayton‘s landing spot are among the 10 questions hovering over this offseason, Tim Bontemps of ESPN writes.
  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) takes a comprehensive look at key dates this offseason, including qualifying offer deadlines, contract guarantee dates, and team/player option deadlines.

NBA Looking Into Alleged Domestic Incident Involving Rajon Rondo

The NBA is aware of an alleged domestic incident involving veteran guard Rajon Rondo and is in the process of gathering more information, league spokesperson Mike Bass told Malika Andrews of ESPN on Monday.

As first reported by TMZ, Rondo’s former partner – and the mother of his two children – filed for an emergency protective order against him on Friday in Louisville, Kentucky, alleging that the 36-year-old threatened her with a gun and has a history of “volatile, erratic (and) explosive behavior.”

The order was granted later in the day, with a judge ruling that Rondo must stay at least 500 feet away from the woman and their children, and must temporarily give up any firearms.

According to the emergency protective order, obtained by both TMZ and ESPN’s Baxter Holmes, the woman said that Rondo, who was playing video games with his son, became enraged when she asked the child to finish separating his laundry. Rondo allegedly ripped the game console out of the wall, smashed a number of items in the house, and began yelling and cursing.

The woman said that Rondo told her, “You’re dead,” briefly left the house, and came back with a gun, demanding to see his son. He then demanded to see his daughter, and when both children were outside, he yelled at them for being afraid of him, the woman alleged. She eventually called the police and Rondo reportedly left the scene after Louisville Metro Police Chief Yvette Gentry arrived.

According to TMZ, Rondo hasn’t been arrested and doesn’t face any criminal charges at this time, so it’s unclear if the NBA’s investigation into the matter would result in any discipline from the league. However, the allegations will certainly be taken into account by teams considering signing Rondo this offseason when his contract with the Cavaliers expires.

L.A. Notes: Lakers’ Roster, Howard, Rondo, George, Powell

The Lakers‘ hopes of reaching the play-in tournament were extinguished this week, but these final games are still important for a few players, writes Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. The team’s roster figures to look much different next season, and young players such as Mason Jones, who finished third in the G League MVP race, see the late-season contests as a chance to shape their future.

“At the end of the day, I want to be a good player in the league,” he said. “From this day forward, you’ve got to continue to take steps. I was with South Bay earlier and I took that as the right mindset. And I’ll continue to take steps. From here, I want to continue to take the steps and learn from them because possibly, they could be my teammates next year.”

Beyond LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, the Lakers have only a few players under contract for next season, Goon notes. Talen Horton-Tucker is signed for two more years and Kendrick Nunn for one more, and the team has 2022/23 options on Austin Reaves and Stanley Johnson. That may create an opportunity for Wenyen Gabriel, whose two-way contract was converted to a standard deal on Friday.

“Obviously we didn’t get a lot of wins this month and we obviously wish we could have won more,” Gabriel said. “But I played with a lot of energy, and I feel I showed some things – some tools that the front office thinks can help the next following season. So it’s just them believing in my potential.”

There’s more NBA news from Los Angeles:

  • Michigan coach Juwan Howard has been mentioned as a possibility to replace Frank Vogel as head coach of the Lakers, tweets Steve Bulpett of Heavy, who adds that if that happens Rajon Rondo could join him as an assistant. Rondo, 36, is currently playing for the Cavaliers.
  • There appears to be no concern about Paul George‘s elbow as the Clippers head toward the play-in tournament, according to Joe Reedy of The Associated Press. George, who missed three months with a torn ligament, has been excellent since returning last week and the team has gone 5-1 in the games he has played. “The elbow’s fine. It feels pretty good,” George said. “Overall, I’m trying to take each possession for what it is and trying to make the best play possible.”
  • Norman Powell is happy to back in time for the postseason after fracturing a bone in his left foot shortly after being traded to the Clippers, per Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register. “I’m excited for what we’re building here,” Powell said after returning Wednesday. “Playing along PG, it still doesn’t seem real to me. He was a guy that I looked up to growing up, a guy, we had some battles in Toronto in the playoffs, and early on in my career he gave me some words of encouragement – my rookie year, that stuck with me. So being able to play alongside with him, and Kawhi (Leonard) when he gets back healthy, it’s going to be fun.”

Cavaliers Notes: Windler, Mobley, Brown, Rondo

Dylan Windler is getting the opportunity to prove himself at the most crucial time of the Cavaliers‘ season, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Windler was viewed as a floor-spacing shooter when Cleveland took him with the 26th pick in the 2019 draft, but injuries have slowed his development as his first two seasons were cut short by surgeries. He sat out five of the team’s first six games this month before coach J.B. Bickerstaff gave him another shot to contribute.

Windler’s chance has come at the expense of Cedi Osman, who was pulled from the rotation recently because of inconsistent play. The Cavs have been forced to use smaller lineups because of injuries to their front line, so Windler is a natural fit.

“Dylan’s always standing ready,” Darius Garland said. “We know he’s going to always be ready whenever his number is called. I mean, he’s a hard worker. Shots are going to start falling. Then on the defensive end, he’s going to do his job and that’s been Dylan since I’ve met him since I was in high school. He’s always going to be ready to compete and play hard. I just always tell him just stay ready. That’s for everybody down the line.”

There’s more from Cleveland:

  • Evan Mobley has been ruled out for at least the next three games with a sprained left ankle, but the Cavaliers are relieved that his injury wasn’t as bad as it looked, Fedor adds in a separate story. A source tells Fedor that an MRI on Mobley was “pretty clean” and “didn’t show much.” The rookie big man will work with the team’s medical staff over the next few days, but Bickerstaff said he’s not in a walking boot and there’s optimism that the injury is just short term. “The sooner we get him back on the floor the better. And for his sake too,” Bickerstaff said in a session with reporters before tonight’s game. “You don’t ever want to see a kid take injuries that are long lasting and impact him. He wants to play. He wants to be part of what we’ve got going on.”
  • Moses Brown, who’s nearly at the end of his second 10-day contract with Cleveland, is starting tonight in place of Mobley, Fedor tweets. Brown has played seven games since joining the Cavaliers, but is averaging just 5.4 minutes per night.
  • Rajon Rondo tested his injured right ankle after today’s shootaround, but has been ruled out for tonight’s game, according to Fedor (Twitter link). Rondo hasn’t played since March 12.

Central Notes: LaVine, Turner, Bickerstaff, Rondo

Bulls All-Star Zach LaVine previously said that he won’t know in advance whether he’ll be able to play back-to-back games going forward. Chicago continues to monitor him daily, but coach Billy Donovan said that LaVine’s knee has been feeling much better since the All-Star break (Twitter links via Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago).

After playing against the Hawks on Thursday, LaVine didn’t appear on Chicago’s injury report on Friday and suited up for both ends of the back-to-back against the Bucks. He finished the game with 30 points, eight rebounds and six assists, but the Bulls dropped their fourth straight in a 118-112 loss. Chicago is now the No. 4 seed in the East with a 39-25 record.

Here’s more from the Central:

  • Pacers center Myles Turner has been sidelined since January 14 after suffering a stress reaction in his left foot, but he’s making progress in his rehab, as James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star relays. Turner posted an Instagram video of himself running for the first time since the injury. He was doing defensive slides in another video, apparently at Detroit’s practice facility. Indiana lost at Detroit 111-106 on Friday night. There’s no official timetable for Turner’s return.
  • Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff was fined $20K by the NBA for inappropriate language directed at officials and refusing to leave the court in a timely manner during Wednesday’s 119-98 loss to the Hornets, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Bickerstaff was ejected after receiving two technical fouls early in the third quarter. The Cavs have dropped six of their past seven games after Friday’s 125-119 loss to the Sixers.
  • Cavaliers point guard Rajon Rondo was upgraded from out to doubtful for Friday’s contest after participating in the team’s shootaround, but ultimately missed the game against Philadelphia. A source tells Fedor (Twitter link) that Rondo is “getting close” to a return, but isn’t quite ready yet. Rondo is eight days removed from suffering a sprained big toe which was expected to sideline him for about two weeks, so he’s apparently a little ahead of schedule in his recovery.

Lakers Notes: LeBron, Augustin, Gabriel, Nunn

The Lakers‘ record fell to 27-34 on Tuesday, as the team entered the fourth quarter with a lead over Dallas but couldn’t hang on and lost by a score of 109-104. Los Angeles, the No. 9 seed in the West, is now just two games ahead of No. 11 Portland for a play-in spot, but Russell Westbrook – who acknowledged that he has to play better – still believes better things are ahead for the club.

“Super confident that we’re going to be all right,” Westbrook said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “I’ve got confidence in this group, like I always have. And we can play the best teams. I’m not worried about nobody we have to play. We’ve beaten the best teams; we’ve lost to some of the worst teams. So, our confidence and my confidence in this group is extremely high because I know what we’re capable of when we put our mind to it and do exactly what we need to do on a night-in, night-out basis.”

As McMenamin writes, LeBron James missed some time about a month ago due to swelling in his left knee and said before the All-Star break that he’s still not 100%. However, James has no plans to shut his season down at any point and is committed to waiting until the offseason to rest his knee, sources tell ESPN.

“We still have games to play,” James said after Tuesday’s loss. “Until you stomp me out, cut my head off, bury me 12 feet under, then I got a chance. So that’s my confidence.”

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • Head coach Frank Vogel is enthusiastic about what newly-signed point guard D.J. Augustin can bring to the team, as Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group relays. “I know his game really well,” Vogel said before Tuesday’s game. “He gets in late tonight – we’ll be able to sit down and talk more in depth about where he fits on our team. But I like what he brings to the table, not just with the off-ball ability, to shoot the basketball and stretch the floor and give our guys more space.”
  • Vogel also discussed new two-way player Wenyen Gabriel, who was signed on Tuesday along with Augustin. According to the Lakers’ head coach, Gabriel will join the NBA team immediately rather than being assigned to the G League. “The successful stints this year have been with Bron, Russ, (Anthony Davis), and the younger, energetic guys,” Vogel said, per Goon. “So, we’ll have to see what Wenyen brings to the table, but it is possible that he gets into the rotation and plays some.”
  • While replacing DeAndre Jordan and Sekou Doumbouya with Augustin and Gabriel adds more talent to the Lakers’ roster, the team had a greater need on the wing than at point guard, Jovan Buha of The Athletic opines in his analysis of Tuesday’s roster moves.
  • Explaining why the Lakers felt comfortable trading away Rajon Rondo earlier in the season if they still needed to sign a veteran point guard later, Vogel said that Rondo was intended to be a third-string backup behind Westbrook and wasn’t a good fit alongside him, whereas Augustin should be able to play with or without Westbrook. “Their skill sets don’t fit,” Vogel said of Rondo and Westbrook (via Goon). “They don’t match on the floor. So (Rondo) was not playing, or when he was playing, he wasn’t a good formula for us.”
  • There’s still no timeline for injured point guard Kendrick Nunn to make his Lakers debut, Vogel told reporters on Tuesday. “We just don’t know about Kendrick,” he said, according to Goon. “We’re still hopeful that he comes around and is able to ramp up and do it without pain and the MRI comes back where we want to see it. It hasn’t happened yet. Until we see him back on the floor, we need help at that position and that skill set.” Buha believes the signing of Augustin suggests we likely won’t see Nunn this season.