After the Los Angeles Lakers came up empty in their pursuit of Kawhi Leonard, they must now get busy constructing the rest of their roster around stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. It’s easy to make an educated guess as to which players the Lakers may pursue, including two familiar faces in Rajon Rondo and Javale McGee who are now set to re-sign with the club.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Rajon Rondo has agreed to return to the Lakers on a two-year, veteran’s minimum deal.
Free agent Rajon Rondo is signing a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources tell @ramonashelburne and me.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2019
Rondo is the definition of a savvy veteran and was the Lakers’ primary playmaker when LeBron James went down with injury last season. The Kentucky product played for five different teams before joining the Lakers prior to last season.
Along with bringing back Rondo, the Lakers have also secured another one of their targets from last year’s team in center JaVale McGee. ESPN’s Ramon Shelburne reports that McGee will be signing a two-year, $8.2 million deal that includes a player option for the 2020-21 season.
JaVale McGee has agreed to return to the Lakers, where he’ll likely start at center, league sources tell ESPN. It’s a two-year, $8.2 million deal, with a player option.
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 6, 2019
Of course, along with McGee, the Lakers also got some additional frontcourt help when they inked DeMarcus Cousins to a one-year deal. There may be no team in the NBA in more of a win-now situation than the LA Lakers, and that shows with their recent veteran pickups.
While McGee is almost certainly expected to come off the bench with Cousins around, it’ll be interesting to see how they decide to deploy Rajon Rondo. Rondo is best with the ball in his hands and is masterful at leading a second unit. Perhaps the Lakers will go with Quinn Cook as their starting point guard to better suit LeBron James’ playstyle and his ability to find open shooters.
Regardless, Rondo and McGee will both bring valuable playoff experience and a tough edge to a Lakers team finally poised to re-enter the championship contender conversation.