Report: Lakers Might Pursue Rajon Rondo Hard Next Summer
Jeanie Buss made an adamant public defense for Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant when Henry Abbott insisted in a recent ESPN column that Bryant is responsible for the Los Angeles Lakers not being able to land big time free agents. They crossed their fingers and came close with Carmelo Anthony this summer, but their best shot (and their roster outside of Kobe) wasn’t good enough.
Next summer, Abbott’s contention may be put to the test once more. Possible free agent targets for 2015 include Kawhi Leonard, Marc Gasol, Greg Monroe, and Rajon Rondo, whom Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix says the Lakers will heavily target:
There is one player who makes sense in LA next season: Rajon Rondo. Several rival executives believe the Lakers will make a strong run at Rondo next summer, and it’s easy to see why. Rondo is young (28), plays a critical position and shares the same win-at-all-bleeping-cost attitude as Bryant. The Celtics are rebuilding and have a young playmaker in Marcus Smart, which may limit their desire to hand Rondo max money.
Still not sure if Rondo strikes me as the super Boston-loyal type. Leaving for the Lakers would be making a certain statement, but then it almost seems like a Rondo thing to do. The Lakers will presumably make a run at any talented free agents on the market, but a point guard like Rondo would suit their immediate needs. It’s also unclear if the Celtics are even open to trading their 28-year-old point guard, though their young guard core suggests that it could be an option.
Mannix thinks it’s time for the Lakers to consider trading Kobe. He referenced the New York Knicks as a reasonable option to strike a deal and re-unite Bryant with Phil Jackson, as did my co-host Tyler on our podcast back in August.
There aren’t any public indications that Rondo or any impending free agents are pressing to play for the Lakers or with Kobe. Abbott’s stance will be put to the test in this upcoming free agency period once more as the Lakers not only look to appease the final days of Kobe Bryant, but prepare for life after Kobe.