Rajon Rondo has become a hot item in Los Angeles following reports that the Clippers are looking to sign the Lakers star in the offseason. But the NBA champions have no plan of releasing the veteran point guard so it will boil down to which team will come up with the best offer.
It seemed unthinkable that Rondo will make the switch as his time with the Lakers has been glorious so far. His second season with the team proved successful and now the 34-year-old has an NBA ring so leaving appeared last on Rondo's list.
But Marc Stein of The New York Times claimed, the Clippers are working to sign the NBA champ and such pursuit stemmed from the demand made by Kawhi Leonard that the club needs a full-time player to take the point and direct the plays.
True, the Clippers already have Patrick Beverley for that role but according to Bleacher Report, Leonard is convinced that Beverley's strength is on defense. The Clippers superstar thought that a point guard with a strong offense and playmaking skills will better serve the team's cause next season.
And it's no surprise that newly appointed head coach Tyronn Lue will take Leonard's words seriously. That is why for the Clippers, the mission is on and Lue is likely working on a tactic to get Rondo to change jersey but remain in Los Angeles.
Rondo has a $2.7 million player option for 2020-21 and Shams Charania of The Athletic said the star will decline. CBS Sports offered an explanation of the possible next move that Rondo will make. To put it simply, the point guard is looking to score a higher pay and his opting out is a ploy "to test the market."
The Lakers man is trying to add up to his retirement fund and he cannot be blamed for it. CBS said the tactic could work because it seemed pretty clear that both the Clippers and Lakers see Rondo as a valuable player.
There will be some workarounds to do but in the end, Rondo is likely to get a pay bump of around $9 million. It is expected that the two teams' offer would be nearly identical and where Rondo will play next will be up to him.
There are incentives for Rondo choosing the Clippers. He has worked with Lue before and the chance to play alongside Leonard seemed too compelling to pass up. But then again, the NBA veteran has proven that on the side with LeBron James and Anthony Davis is a sure-fire winning formula.