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
Hard Knocks hit a major obstacle this week.
In May, NFL owners approved a new structure to roster cutdowns, enacting a system that included three waves of releases occurring on the Tuesday after each preseason game. The initial 90-man roster cut to 85 on Aug. 17, to 80 on Aug. 24, then 53 on Aug. 31.
That change in structure and timing meant the last cutdowns would no longer take place on the traditional Saturday after the fourth preseason game (cuts are four days earlier with just three preseason games now on the schedule). This is a problem for Hard Knocks, which -- even with its famous ability to tinker and edit mere hours ahead of an episode's premiere -- had no chance to turn around a final-cuts episode for its customary Tuesday air date.
And so it was with heavy hearts that we watched guard Isaac Alarcon and running back JaQuan Hardy -- the central underdog protagonists this season -- get major Hard Knocks screen time on the very day we learned they were officially cut by the Cowboys. The edit of the preseason finale against the Jaguars made it seem like both men might have done enough to earn a spot on the final 53-man roster, but alas, it was not meant to be.
All's not lost. Hardy will reportedly snag one of Dallas' practice-squad spots if he clears waivers on Wednesday. Alarcon, the pride of Monterrey, Mexico, will automatically land on the practice squad as an exemption under the NFL International Player Pathway program.
The news was even better for defensive end Azur Kamara, the other Hard Knocks long-shot subject. The Ivory Coast native made the initial 53-man roster, though his job security will remain in flux as teams across the league sort through the open market to finalize their Week 1 rosters.
In the future, perhaps Hard Knocks can push back the air date of their fourth episode by a day or so. Or we can all just get the hell off Twitter and let NFL Films tell the story as only they can. That seems like a much more fulfilling version of life.
Read full article at NBC Sports
02 September, 2021 - 12:10am
Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel
Andy Behrens, Dalton Del Don, Matt Harmon, Liz Loza, Scott Pianowski
You Pod to Win the Game
The central move L.A. made was acquiring Russell Westbrook, and a sweetener of three future second-round picks, from the Washington Wizards for Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell and their 2021 first-round pick.
Westbrook’s fit on paper is the lingering question mark that will remain throughout the regular season unless it’s proven he can coexist alongside James and Davis while staying efficient.
Since landing Westbrook limited Los Angeles’ free-agency spending power even further, the rest of the roster needed to be filled out through veteran minimum deals.
The Lakers accomplished that by adding numerous veterans who had either represented the purple and gold in the past or are doing it for the first time to help win a ring. Names like Carmelo Anthony, Malik Monk and Wayne Ellington are new to the franchise while Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza and more are beloved for previous contributions.
Kendrick Nunn marked L.A.’s most expensive signing, as he received the full taxpayer MLE of $5.9 million for two years; Talen Horton-Tucker’s three-year extension worth over $30 million tops that, but he was already on the roster.
All these moves rounded out L.A.’s busy offseason, which doesn’t include the shuffling of the coaching staff.
ESPN has been grading the moves made by teams, and according to Kevin Pelton, the Lakers got a “C”:
“As long as Anthony Davis and LeBron James stay healthy, the Lakers look like the favorites to win the West. But it’s unclear their offseason moves improved their chances of getting back to the NBA Finals after last season’s first-round exit. In Russell Westbrook, the Lakers added a singular talent to help carry the load during the regular season, but they’ll have to work around his shooting limitations in a playoff setting.
The Lakers did well to replace the depth lost in the Westbrook trade with a series of veterans minimum signings as well as the value pickup of Kendrick Nunn using the taxpayer midlevel exception. Still, the Lakers don’t have as many reliable two-way contributors around their stars as in 2020, when Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Danny Green played those roles during their title run.”
The biggest takeaways from Pelton’s analysis hammer what the primary consensus is of Westbrook’s addition. He’s a poor shooter the farther away he is from the rim, which exacerbates the floor-spacing concerns L.A. needed to resolve.
And despite the signings being good offensive players, it’s plausible the defense, which was No. 1 in the league last year, will plunge. The Lakers could use Kent Bazemore in the role Caldwell-Pope and Green had in previous years, but all the other guards have notable defensive weaknesses.
For the new forwards, Anthony hasn’t been a plus defender in recent seasons, and it’ll be interesting to see how Ariza’s mobility holds up this year. He used to have the ability to guard faster players, but as his legs accumulate more mileage, he primarily matches up against bigger forwards now.
The talent on the roster is undeniable, but the Lakers need to prove they can assemble the pieces for a title run.
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02 September, 2021 - 12:10am