The LA Lakers are fresh off winning their 17th NBA title after an impressive run through the playoffs. Although the Lakers are still relishing the tremendous feat, there are some critical roster decisions ahead in the offseason. The conversation has quickly sprouted around the possibility that LA could lose one of their contributors in free agency, which may put heightened pressure on LeBron James to step in to keep the roster together.
Lakers have busy offseason ahead
The Lakers are coming off reaching the mountaintop for the first time in a decade, but the conversation has quickly shifted to the upcoming offseason.
LA faces some critical roster decisions ahead with some of their core players. The expectation is that Anthony Davis will re-sign in free agency, but there remain question marks around other key contributors.
Dwight Howard will hit free agency after completing his one-year, $2.5 million deal. The Golden State Warriors are expected to make a strong play to land him. Rajon Rondo and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are both anticipated to decline their player options for next season.
Meanwhile, other role players such as Avery Bradley ($5 million) and JaVale McGee ($4.2 million) have crucial decisions to make with their player options for next year. With all that in mind, it appears that the LA Clippers will make a strong run at one player that may push LeBron James into action.
Clippers’ interest in Rajon Rondo may see LeBron James get involved
Rajon Rondo is among the Lakers players expected to test the free-agent market once the offseason commences.
Rondo proved to be an invaluable piece to LA’s playoff run with his steady play on both ends of the floor. His presence brought another playoff-tested ball handler into the mix, crucial to pushing LA to an NBA title.
However, it appears that the LA Clippers may have also come away quite impressed as Marc Stein of The New York Times is reporting that the team will likely pursue Rondo. The latest rumor falls in line with the earlier reporting that the Clippers are eyeing more backcourt help as Kawhi Leonard privately voiced he wants another point guard.
Rondo may not necessarily fit that bill in terms of his scoring, but he has proven to be an elite passer throughout his career. His ability to playmake and direct the offense could be what the Clippers need to take that next step forward toward title contention.
The chatter may be a rumor at this point, but it may push the Lakers harder to retain Rondo under a new deal. LeBron James has a strong connection with the veteran point guard, which he was vital in bringing him aboard in the first. In any fashion, James will play some factor in the push to keep Rondo.
Lakers could explore other options
Much can unfold over the offseason, but a scenario with Rajon Rondo’s leaving in free agency is certainly on the table.
Rondo will garner an offer from the Lakers, but it’s on him to determine what’s best for him at this point in his career. LeBron James will factor into the decision-making process, but if things don’t work out in the team’s favor, there are other options.
The rumor mill has already created chatter around possibly pursuing a trade for Derrick Rose. The former All-Star guard is entering the second year of his two-year, $15 million deal with the Detroit Pistons. The Lakers also have in-house options if Avery Bradley returns or see Alex Caruso snag a more significant role off the bench.
The Lakers will begin their offseason by working hard to keep Rondo, but if it doesn’t play out in that manner, other routes will be explored.