The trade has yet to be finalized, but all signs point toward Lakers guard Rajon Rondo joining the Cleveland Cavaliers.
According to both ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the two sides are nearing a trade that would send the 35-year-old point guard to the 8th team of his illustrious career.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are nearing a trade to acquire Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo — and an agreement is expected to be reached as soon as Friday, sources tell ESPN. Rondo would be able to join Cleveland as soon as he clears Covid protocols.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 30, 2021
The Cleveland Cavaliers are in serious talks on a deal to acquire Lakers guard Rajon Rondo, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. In wake of Ricky Rubio’s season-ending ACL injury, Cleveland has need for backcourt help and is working on the potential move.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 30, 2021
Rondo (who has appeared in just 18 games for the Lakers this season) may not be the player he once was, but he makes plenty of sense for this shockingly successful Cavaliers team. The organization just lost point guard Ricky Rubio to a season-ending ACL tear. Rubio has been a key part of the team’s breakout campaign, averaging 13.1 points, 6.6 assists, and 1.4 steals per game in 28.5 minutes per action. His injury takes away a high-IQ stabilizing guard who paired beautifully with a roster jam-packed with young and athletic bigs. I’m sure the hope is that a no-nonsense Rondo can help provide some of the same defensive ball pressure while filling that savvy veteran role needed in a largely inexperienced rotation.
On an even broader note, the Cavaliers’ quick trigger to go after Rondo tells the East they mean business. The team sits 20-14 and 5th in the Eastern Conference, and it’s hard not to think this may not be the end of their additions as they try to cement an unexpected playoff spot.
For a Bulls team that still plays the playoff-hopeful Cavaliers three times this season, the franchise’s activity on the trade market will be one to watch.