Lakers trade Rajon Rondo for Cavaliers for Denzel Valentine

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No Ricky Rubio. No Collin Sexton.

The Cavaliers need a point guard so badly to play behind (and, ideally, sometimes with) Darius Garland, that they trade for someone who apparently has negative value on a minimum contract.

Cleveland – as expected – will trade for the Lakers’ Rajon Rondo, sending Denzel Valentine to Los Angeles.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:

Unless there was something else unreported to that deal, it shows the Lakers couldn’t just get rid of Rondo in a trade and wipe his paycheck off their books altogether. They have to get Valentine’s unwanted money back. If you forgo Valentine today, Los Angeles will incur a cap of $ 847,072 which will be deducted from the luxury tax.

Still, that’s better than giving up Rondo (or some other minimum wage player) and taking a cap of $ 1,669,178.

Rondo theoretically fits the rough contours of a replacement for Rubio in Cleveland – a savvy veteran, a good passer, an improved 3-point shot from mediocre to a solid defensive reputation. But Rondo’s commitment to defense, where Rubio has really helped the Cavs this year, hasn’t been strong in years. Rondo’s score evolved further at 35.

There are reasons the Lakers are trading him for this comeback.

Stanley Johnson assisted the Lakers as a replacement player. With a place on the roster open, they could sign him for the remainder of the season.

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