As we get closer to the start of the NBA season, there have been only a few teams making major moves to secure their playoff spot. The teams that have been dominating the headlines are the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets. After both teams failed in their quest for the 2021 NBA Championship, it was clear, both teams lacked depth. In building championship-caliber teams, depth is a need in order for longevity. Both teams know that and have been pursuing free agents and trades for their second run. One team, in particular, is the Lakers, who are amassing former all-stars and role players to retake their claim as the best in the west.
The two names popping up in the NBA free agency conversation are Rajon Rondo and Kevin Love. Both are former all-stars and both capable of playing starting positions on an NBA team. While it may take quite a few moves, the Lakers are willing to gather the assets needed to make their next run a great one.
Rajon Rondo, 35, is a quality old-school type point guard that can be useful on any team. It seems a reunion is on the horizon for Rondo and the Lakers. An important role on their 2020 NBA Bubble run, the two-time NBA champion is making sure he returns to LA. Rajon was traded from the LA Clippers to the Grizzlies earlier this month as a part of the Eric Bledsoe deal, but he reached an agreement on the final year of his contract worth $8.3 million to go back on the market. As for Kevin Love, Lakers fans, don’t hold your breath for him.
Rumors about center Kevin Love potentially heading to LA came after a massive three-team trade between Cleveland, Chicago, and Portland. With Cleveland acquiring Lauri Markkanen and drafting Evan Mobley, Love’s time in the Promised Land is over. The 5-time all-star doesn’t fit in with the surge of youth the Cavaliers are pushing and has been uneasy to trade. Despite his 2018 four-year $120 million contract, many NBA experts knew Kevin Love wouldn’t finish his career there. But with Kevin Love refusing a buyout, it leaves Cleveland with the only option to trade him.
The Lakers have been very busy during the off-season. After failing to reach the 2021 NBA Finals, it was clear AD and King James needed help. Both superstars dealt with their share of injuries and never seemed to recover. Their depth and no solid role players became the downfall (also the main reason for the Brooklyn Nets’ failure). This off-season saw the Lakers improve in every aspect of their roster. The team opted for vet experience over youth when building their team back up. Signing players like Trevor Ariza, Dwight Howard, Kent Bazemore, and Melo, the Lakers are hoping to bounce back and a big way.
Update, August 31, 12:23pm: Point guard Rajon Rondo and the Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to one-year $2.6M contract after clearing waviers on Monday. He is expected to sign the deal later today.