NBA Free Agents 2017: Rumors and Predictions for Rajon Rondo and More
While big names like Gordon Hayward have long made league-altering decisions, younger players can dramatically alter the future of franchises trying to build something special.
Along those same lines, veterans like David Lee, Derrick Rose and maybe even someone like Manu Ginobili could reshape next year’s title picture by simply putting ink to paper.
This isn’t a stretch capable of being as entertaining as when the free-agency floodgates first opened. But to deny its potential impact on pretenders and contenders alike as they round out rosters would do a disservice to history suggesting its importance.
Here’s a look at the latest.
Rondo now assumes the position as the biggest name on the market after Kentavious Caldwell-Pope agreed to a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com.
Interestingly enough, those Lakers could still have an interest in bringing Rondo aboard for at least a year, though Magic Johnson and the front office will face competition from teams such as the New York Knicks.
ESPN.com’s Ian Begley confirmed mutual interest from both sides: “One free agent they’ve remained in touch with is Rajon Rondo, per sources. There is interest from both sides, sources say.”
As an aside, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News reported the Lakers have an interest in Rondo, alongside several other backcourt names.
The Knicks and Lakers want Rondo for the same thing—productivity while helping a new potential franchise point adapt to the league. The Knicks want to bring along Frank Ntilikina at a steady pace and the Lakers have Lonzo Ball.
On his own, Rondo posted averages of 7.8 points, 6.7 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game last season with the Chicago Bulls, keying a short upset-minded postseason run before suffering an injury. He doesn’t have the best perception from an outsider’s viewpoint, but two teams needing veterans to groom their futures suggest perception indeed isn’t reality.
For Rondo, it comes down to what he wants. The Lakers will offer him a chance to help rebuild one historic franchise while playing alongside Ball and Brandon Ingram. The Knicks will offer him another while trotting him out next to Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kristaps Porzingis, if not…