Lakers guard Rajon Rondo opens up on his beef with Russell Westbrook

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Lakers Daily 01 September, 2021 - 06:49pm 5 views

Did the Lakers sign Rondo?

Rajon Rondo won an NBA championship with the Lakers in 2020. EL SEGUNDO – The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Rajon Rondo, it was announced today by Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Rob Pelinka. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released. NBA.comLakers officially sign veteran guard Rajon Rondo

Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo has seemingly squashed his beef with new teammate Russell Westbrook.

Rondo and Westbrook haven’t gotten along in their careers, but with Rondo signing with the Lakers this week, the two will now have to work together as teammates.

Rondo took the high road and talked about Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Trevor Ariza when discussing what he’s looking forward to this season.

“Carmelo,” Rondo said, when asked who he’s excited to play with in Los Angeles. “Obviously, Russ, Trev (Ariza). I look forward to talking to Trev, learning his mind, his focus. … We’ve had a lot of great battles with a lot of these guys that’s now teammates. I’m looking forward to putting everything in the past and putting it together for the greater good of the team and winning a championship here.”

Westbrook and Rondo got into things last year when they faced off in a game between the Washington Wizards and Atlanta Hawks.

— JM3 (@JM3Hoops) January 30, 2021

Now, the two will pursue a championship with the Lakers and stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

The two guards could be serious threats for Los Angeles now that they are working together instead of playing against each other.

Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.

According to a report, Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis wasn’t satisfied with the type of looks he was...

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Los Angeles Lakers: 3 young free agents LA could sign next

Lakeshow Life 02 September, 2021 - 08:45am

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 29: Garrison Mathews #24 of the Washington Wizards warms up prior to the game against the Indiana Pacers at Capital One Arena on March 29, 2021 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)

(Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are reaching the finish line when it comes to building out the roster for the 2021-22 season. With the addition of Rajon Rondo, the Lakers’ roster currently stands at 13 players with 15 players allowed in total.

Every report this offseason has indicated that the Lakers have all intentions on leaving an open roster spot for a potential in-season move. This is not uncommon as anything can happen during the regular season, both for the Lakers and for other teams, and there is no way to truly gauge the team’s needs and the market six months from now.

That leaves one more likely signing and we may have already gotten hints on the direction the team might go. The Lakers opted against re-signing Jared Dudley, who was supposedly great for team chemistry, with the intent of adding younger talent.

Rajon Rondo obviously is not young, so that last free-agent signing is likely going to be youthful. We have touched on the recent lottery guards that are still on the free-agent market, but after the Rondo signing, those guards are unlikely.

Keep in mind: the options at this point in free agency are not the greatest, especially when it comes to young talent. There are still some decent veteran options on the market whereas the young talent market is not as deep.

However, that being said, there are still some intriguing options.

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Los Angeles Lakers: Defending Russell Westbrook from NBA critics

Lakeshow Life 02 September, 2021 - 08:45am

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 10: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with media during a press conference at Staples Center on August 10, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers Russell Westbrook

The Los Angeles Lakers acquiring Russell Westbrook is an LA-style move at its core: the ethos of the city has always been to either go big or go home. Lakers GM Rob Pelinka made this trade with winning future championships in mind.

Ultimately, the Lakers wanted a third superstar. Russell Westbrook was the only one realistically available in the trade market. Westbrook’s massive contract ($44,211,146 next season!) diminished his trade value to a point where the Lakers could actually get him.

In my opinion, Sacramento’s sharpshooting guard Buddy Hield would have been a better fit. Per Bleacher Report, Sacramento was only asking for Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell for Hield.

Losing KCP (and missing out on Hield) will hurt the Lakers far more than what many fans might realize. KCP shot 41% from three-point range last season. Hield has shot 40.6% from three-point range in his career.

As we all know, the Lakers need reliable three-point shooters for their half-court offense to be at its most effective. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have always thrived in the half-court when surrounded by elite three-point shooters such as KCP or Hield.

Moreover, it will be counterproductive to have a ball-dominant guard like Westbrook play alongside LeBron and AD. Westbrook is not a great outside shooter and he has not played off the ball since his college days at UCLA.

Lakers Head Coach Frank Vogel will need to determine whether to stagger LeBron and Westbrook’s minutes to optimize the offense now or to play them together in order to build up their chemistry later.

In reality, Westbrook is one of the greatest NBA point guards in NBA history and is still in his prime.

It is quite astonishing that several NBA analysts have said that Westbrook is NOT a top-10 point guard. This article from NBA.com only rates Westbrook in the honorable mention tier.

Nothing personal, but that writer for NBA.com is out of pocket! Here are two reasons why Russell Westbrook is still an elite point guard!

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Anthony Davis was reportedly frustrated at Dennis Schröder’s passing

Silver Screen and Roll 02 September, 2021 - 08:45am

Rajon Rondo’s return brings back a player that was often on the same page with Anthony Davis, something Dennis Schröder struggled to do during his season in Los Angeles.

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One of the names at the top of that list was Anthony Davis. After a dominant performance during the postseason inside the bubble, Davis entered the season far from that version of himself, struggling through the opening months of the season before going down with an injury in mid-February.

By the time he returned late in the year, the Lakers could not get going quickly enough before his season came to an end with a groin injury in the first round of the playoffs against Phoenix. While Davis’ frustrating season falls largely at his feet and bad luck with injuries, there was another aspect that reportedly led to his lackluster output.

According to a report from Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, Davis and new point guard Dennis Schröder did not quite see eye-to-eye.

Per an NBA source familiar with some of the Lakers’ struggles through the 2020-21 campaign, Davis felt some frustration that he wasn’t getting the kind of looks in the post with Dennis Schroder running the point compared to those he received with Rondo a year earlier.

Schröder himself more or less confirmed as much with a fairly innocuous quote that looks much different in hindsight given this report following practice on March 13.

“Since (Davis’) been out, he got on me when Damian Jones set a pick and roll on the left wing and I found him for the alley-oop right away,” Schröder said, “he looked at me, he was like ‘why can’t you do that with me?’... We’re still trying to figure it out. I think when he comes back, I’m going to put more pressure on myself to find him even more for the lobs because I think nobody can really stop that.”

It’s true that Davis and Schröder were never able to figure out the chemistry that the former had with Rajon Rondo, who rejoined the team on Tuesday. Despite injuries to Davis multiple trips to quarantine for health and safety protocols for Schröder, the pair still played just 808 minutes together across 30 games. Comparatively, in the prior year, Davis and Rondo played 473 minutes in the regular season and 310 in the postseason.

Despite the large sample size, Davis and Schröder could never get on a similar page that Rondo and Davis found themselves on more often than not.

No one had better chemistry with AD on this fake to a spin lob pass than Rondo did. pic.twitter.com/zlFuYpXKFG

Last season, Schröder assisted Davis 48 times in the regular season and five more times in the postseason. Rondo assisted Davis 57 times the regular season the year prior and 33 more times in the playoffs, in comparison.

It’s fair to note Schröder is a different type of player than Rondo and did far more scoring than Rondo did in his time in Los Angeles, but it’s still not great when one of the team’s star players feels frustrated with the point guard’s inability to get him the ball. Ultimately, it speaks to how clunky of a fit Schröder felt in the Lakers lineup, even if the team was succeeding with him as point guard when healthy last season.

While Rondo has returned to the Lakers this season, his role is likely to be a mentoring one on the bench and in the locker room. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t help others develop the chemistry alongside Davis that Schröder lacked which will hopefully lead to a more productive version of Davis, a necessity if the Lakers are going to compete for a title once again.

Why the Los Angeles Lakers Needed Another Veteran Point Guard in Rajon Rondo

Bleacher Report 02 September, 2021 - 08:45am

Security asked Rajon Rondo’s brother to leave the stands after he exchanged words with Russell Westbrook. https://t.co/5jG1hkInN6

Rajon Rondo plans to sign a one-year, $2.6M deal with the Lakers upon clearing waivers today, sources tell ESPN. He agreed to a contract buyout with Memphis on Saturday. Rondo will still make his full $7.5M salary this season between buyout and new deal. https://t.co/ehFzHb6pVC

New Lakers Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook have seemingly squashed their beef, via @_michaelcorvo_. 👀 https://t.co/Jzi0wkxDyj

Good luck to the defense when it can't primarily scheme against James, which is why the Lakers were willing to acquire Westbrook. Perhaps Nunn or Horton-Tucker will be enough to back him up, but the Lakers weren't going into the regular season without another experienced option. The team also considered free agents Isaiah Thomas, Darren Collison and Mike James, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

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