LeBron James changed the face of the NBA on Sunday night by announcing his intention to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, and since then the Lakers have already added a few supporting characters to the fold.
On Sunday, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Lance Stephenson and JaVale McGee all reportedly committed to join LeBron in Los Angeles, and on Monday another chip fell. Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reports that 12-year veteran point guard Rajon Rondo will sign with the Lakers as well. The deal is reportedly for one year, $9 million.
Rondo was an instrumental part of the Pelicans' success last season, and went to four straight All-Star Games with the Celtics from 2010 to 2013. More interesting than the signing itself, however, is what the move could represent.
Just before the Rondo signing broke, it was reported that the Lakers renounced Julius Randle, turning him into an unrestricted free agent. That opens up cap space for potential signings, and one name that immediately comes to mind is DeMarcus Cousins, whom TNT's David Aldridge says they've cleared a path to sign.
The move also makes you wonder about Lonzo Ball's future in Los Angeles. Do the Lakers have a trade in mind involving their 20-year-old point guard? Rondo could absolutely be a backup, but it seems a bit odd that Los Angeles would spend some of its valuable cap room by adding a point guard who's actually quite similar to the one they already have. As for which one will start, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne and USA Today's Sam Amick report that Rondo was told the best man would win the job.
Regarding Rondo and the Lakers, source says they told him that with LeBron here they’re trying to win now. Best man wins the job.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 2, 2018
Rajon Rondo has no assurances that he'll start over Lonzo Ball, but it's entirely possible: "Best man plays," I'm told.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 2, 2018
We knew the Lakers weren't done making moves after LeBron announced his decision, and we'll have to wait and see what the roster looks like around him to start the 2018-19 season.