It is not a surprise — we knew what was coming days before he was waived — but now it is official:
Rajon Rondo is a Los Angeles Laker again.
Rondo was traded from the Clippers to the Grizzlies, then Memphis quickly bought him out. It was a foregone conclusion he would sign with the Lakers.
If 35-year-old Rondo can regain his form from the bubble he can help the Lakers towards a title, but if he plays like he did last season that is not the case. During the Lakers 2020 title run, Rondo was key, averaging 8.9 points per game and shooting 40% from 3 during the playoffs. His production fell off last season with the Hawks and Clippers, when he averaged 5.4 points a game and was a defensive liability.
The Lakers now have six players on their roster older than 30: Rondo (35), Dwight Howard (35), LeBron James (36), Marc Gasol (36), Trevor Ariza (36), and Carmelo Anthony (37). Gasol may return to Spain to play for Barcelona this season and a younger player replaces him, but that’s still a lot of age on the roster.
Rondo said at his introductory press conference he wasn’t worried about that.
“Wisdom is definitely key to winning a championship,” Rondo said. “We have a lot of that, obviously, with the age and experience on the court. I’m most excited about not being the oldest guy on the team anymore. I’m actually about [fifth oldest] now, so that’s a big step for me going from two months ago I was the oldest guy on the team and now I’m one of the young guys.”
All that wisdom may help in the playoffs, if those older bodies hold up through the marathon of the NBA season and the Lakers enter the playoffs healthy. That remains the biggest question mark with this team in what will be a competitive and wide-open West.
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It’s official: Rajon Rondo is a Laker. That’s six Lakers players 35 or older. originally appeared on NBCSports.com