Lakers Officially Announce Return Of Rajon Rondo

The Lakers have officially announced the signing of veteran point guard Rajon Rondo, marking the return of a member of the 2020 championship team.Rajon Rondo

Rondo’s deal is for the veteran’s minimum of one year and $2.6 million, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported.

Rondo, 35, is returning after spending last season with the Hawks and Clippers. He adds experience to an already older roster that features just four players returning from last year’s team.

“It’s a hell of a team as far as competitors,” Rondo told reporters, adding that Lakers coach Frank Vogel said he missed Rondo’s voice in the locker room.

Per Marc Stein of Substack, “Rondo (35) will become the ninth Laker in his 30s on a roster expected to feature 14 players (and two more on two-way contracts). He’ll join Carmelo Anthony (37), LeBron James (36), Marc Gasol (36), Trevor Ariza (36), Dwight Howard (35), Wayne Ellington (33), Russell Westbrook (32) and Kent Bazemore (32).”

He reached a buyout agreement with the Grizzlies over the weekend. So he will still make his full $7.5 million salary in 2021-22, between the buyout and the deal with LA, Wojnarowski noted.

Rondo was part of the trade that sent guard Eric Bledsoe from the Grizzlies to the Clippers earlier this summer. Clippers guard Patrick Beverley was also involved in that trade, but has since been dealt to the Timberwolves.

Rondo, 35, is 6-foot-1 and will be returning to the Lakers after being a key component to their 2020 championship team. He has since also played for the Hawks, but was sent to the Clippers in March as part of a trade for guard Lou Williams.

Rondo appeared in 45 games total last season, compiling averages of 5.4 points, 4.4 assists and 2.4 rebounds. He also played in 13 playoff games.

“While the Lakers did an impressive job filling out their roster following the trade for Russell Westbrook, the backup point guard spot was one notable hole,” wrote Eli Cohen of Hoops Rumors.

“Rondo was unable to replicate his success with the Lakers in this year’s playoffs run with the Clippers, but should provide a solid, competent playmaker off the bench, especially as young guards Malik Monk and Kendrick Nunn are both more likely to see time at the shooting guard spot, if at all.”

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