With the NBA reportedly wanting to start the next season on December 22nd, there will be a condensed offseason starting with the 2020 NBA Draft on November 18th with free agency currently starting at an undetermined date that is rumored to be shortly after the draft. The Lakers have plenty of work to do within free agency, although the biggest goal of theirs may already be wrapped up, as it is reported that Anthony Davis will re-sign with the Lakers once he opts out of his contract. If that happens, Davis, LeBron James, Alex Caruso, Kyle Kuzma, and Talen Horton-Tucker will be part of the few Lakers who will for sure be under contract this year, with players like Dwight Howard, Avery Bradley, JaVale McGee, and Rajon Rondo with the opportunity to be free agents.
Rajon Rondo has specifically already been reported as a player who will decline his $2.7 million player option for the 2020-21 season to test the market and see if he can earn more money with the Lakers, or even elsewhere. A team hasn’t been connected yet to Rondo other than the Lakers, with that first team being reported today as none other than the Los Angeles Clippers (reported by Marc Stein of The New York Times):
The Lakers are naturally determined to re-sign Rondo, who played a huge role in their playoff run, but the Clippers are eager to upgrade at point guard. Rondo has said he is planning to test the open market, which means declining his §2.7 million option for next season
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 28, 2020
With LeBron James under contract for $39M next season and an impending large payday for Anthony Davis, the Lakers will not have much salary cap to dish out to their free agents to keep them in the purple-and-gold for the 2020-21 season. Rondo obviously wants more than $2.7M per year at the very least, and he may get much more than that after an impressive postseason where he was a key reason for wins in a few of the Lakers’ games. However, Rondo has famously been very bad for the Lakers in all other games he has played for them during his two years in L.A.
It won’t be a long move for him if he decides to join the Clippers and their new head coach Tyronn Lue. This isn’t too surprising, as it was previously reported that Kawhi Leonard may want a new point guard on the team after a disappointing season from Patrick Beverley.