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NBA free agency rumors: Clippers may look to steal Rajon Rondo away from Lakers

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The Lakers aren’t the only Los Angeles team looking to sign Rajon Rondo this offseason.

Rondo is likely to decline his player option and become an unrestricted free agent, but the Lakers are interested in bringing him back as they attempt to defend their championship. They can expect competition from other suitors, including the rival Clippers, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times.

This news comes amid speculation that Clippers star Kawhi Leonard wants the team to make an upgrade at point guard. The Clippers were in the bottom third of the league in assists per game, potential assists per game and passes per game last season. Landing Rondo wouldn’t change their offensive style entirely — the ball will go through Leonard and Paul George, no matter how much the roster changes — but he is an experienced floor general who could help prevent stagnation on that end of the floor.

Rondo has also shown that he is reliable when it matters most. The legend of “Playoff Rondo” continued during the 2019 playoffs with the 34-year-old averaging 8.9 points, 6.6 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game while shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from 3-point range. He is, as Draymond Green would say, a 16-game player.

An added benefit of bringing in Rondo? Weakening the Lakers. It wouldn’t be easy for the Lakers to find someone capable of earning the trust of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, particularly in a postseason setting. Rondo helped keep the team humming when James sat. His departure would present problems for the purple and gold.

It’s unclear when the free-agency period will begin and how much money will be available. Still, there should be a market for Rondo’s services. His decision may come down to which LA squad he prefers.

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