With the 2020-21 season right around the corner, the Los Angeles Lakers and their front office have faced several tough decisions in free agency.
While Anthony Davis is widely expected to re-sign and remain with the Lakers for the foreseeable future, vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka was tasked with sorting out who to retain in effort to keep the roster at a championship level.
Avery Bradley, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Dwight Howard, Markieff Morris and Rajon Rondo all became free agents. Bradley agreed to join the Miami Heat, and Howard is now a member of the Philadelphia 76ers.
After alluding to leaving the Lakers in free agency, Rondo has agreed to a two-year contract with the Atlanta Hawks, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
Free agent guard Rajon Rondo has reached an agreement with the Atlanta Hawks on a two-year, $15 million deal, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) November 21, 2020
Rondo’s new contract is well-deserved after playing on a minimum deal in Los Angeles. Even at 34 years old, Rondo’s ability to organize an offense and push the pace in transition should help Trae Young and the Hawks on the floor, but his basketball IQ will also come in handy off the court.
Immediately after returning from injury, Rondo turned back the clock and showed the NBA that he is still able to impact high-stakes playoff games. “Playoff Rondo” was sometimes the third best player on the floor for the Lakers during the postseason and absolutely earned his second ring.
While Rondo’s departure is unfortunate for the purple and gold, they will have Dennis Schroder to come in and fill the void. Schroder was acquired when it became clear that Rondo could possibly leave, and he is about as good of a replacement the Lakers could have hoped for.
Lakers roster taking shape
Trading for Schroder was the Lakers’ first big move, and since free agency began they have reportedly agreed to contracts with Wesley Matthews and Montrezl Harrell. The team still could use a traditional center, and depending on how the market takes shape, Marc Gasol might be an answer.
The Lakers are also said to be engaged in negotiations with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who reportedly has interest from the New York Knicks as well.
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