Cavaliers set to acquire Lakers’ Rajon Rondo

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Rajon Rondo wasn’t the playmaker the Lakers hoped he would be (they bet on a repeat of the Rondo bubble, where he was suddenly a sniper, but it turned out to be an aberration. ).

With Ricky Rubio out for the season after tearing his ACL – after Colin Sexton tore his meniscus and is out for the year – the Cavaliers need another point guard. They are in talks to trade for Rondo, a story broken by Shams Charania of The Athletic and since confirmed by others.

Rondo is currently on COVID protocols and, while the swap may be completed this week, he would not be heading to Cleveland until cleared. Rondo has only appeared in 18 games for the Lakers, averaging 3.1 points per game and shooting 32.4 percent. He’s been in and out of the rotation. Cleveland is hoping to capture some of Darius Garland’s chemistry with Rubio (the Cavs were +16.6 when both were in the field). Rondo, like Rubio, is a veteran high IQ player who understands how to play the game (and isn’t a great outside shooter).

The Lakers will recoup in this trade either a protected second-round pick (which will likely never pass) or the draft rights to a European draft and stash player who will never come. That’s because what the Lakers want from this deal is free up a spot on the list.

It’s an open secret in the league, the Lakers were very happy with 10-day contract player Stanley Johnson’s play, but to keep him (or guard Darren Collison) they had to open up a spot in the roster. . Technically, the Lakers could release a player and just sign Johnson or Collison, but that would involve a serious luxury tax hit – because the Lakers cross the tax threshold by over $ 20 million, every dollar spent is in. actually $ 3.75 (and they come close to the $ 4.25 to 1 line). Simply giving up on a minimum wage player and eating that money, paying the tax on that plus the new entering player, would have cost the Lakers over $ 15 million for that one shot alone.

This job takes Rondo’s salary away; the Lakers can put Johnson on a minimum contract there and keep their tax bill about what it is now (which is still over $ 45 million).

Johnson has shown his worth and his place in the Lakers’ rotation in just three games, averaging 7.7 points per game and even a start. Johnson, a SoCal native (he played his high school ball at local powerhouse Mater Dei) appeared at home and filled a need on a Lakers roster falling short of expectations around LeBron James.

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