Rajon Rondo has had an interesting year since departing the Los Angeles Lakers. He had a brief stint with the Atlanta Hawks, after signing a 2-year, $15 million deal. After 27 games out East, he made his way back to Los Angeles across the hallway. He finished the season with an up and down Clippers tenure.
The Clippers decided they wanted to send him back East and traded him to the Memphis Grizzlies. Rondo reached a buyout agreement with the Grizzlies to set up his second Lakers stint. The team made the deal official on Tuesday and it seems both sides are happy to be reunited. Lakers Reporter Mike Trudell spoke about Rondo and Head Coach Frank Vogel connecting again:
Rajon Rondo said he’s back in L.A. to try and win another title, but to actually get a parade this time around. He’s excited about the Westbrook signing, and said he spoke to Frank Vogel this morning; Vogel relayed how much he missed Rondo in the locker room last season.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) August 31, 2021
The loss of Jared Dudley offers the remaining veterans more grease to their wheels. You can’t ever have too many buffers on your roster. Rondo, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis are as thick as thieves. The two all-stars and head coach Frank Vogel were a big reason he returned, as he discussed in his introduction today:
“Obviously everybody wants to be wanted,” Rondo said. “But having Coach Frank, I talked to him earlier this morning as far as his expectations for me, and understanding that he missed my voice last year in the locker room, which meant a lot. Understanding that I do have value here, and wanted to be wanted, so Frank was a big key.
“Obviously, I talked to LeBron and AD, we keep in touch all the time. Rob has been true to me from day one, even the first time I signed with the Lakers. So having those old relationships and not burning bridges in the past and having great things come together (was key).”
Two seasons ago, Rondo was lauded because of his “swag.” Vogel was the largest supporter when many fans questioned Rondo’s usage via Silver Screen & Roll:
“Rondo had 10 assists, but Rajon’s statistics are not measured on a stat sheet. They’re measured in swag. He just gives us some confidence and an air about us that, we know we’re going into a battle with just a heck of a basketball player,” Vogel said. “He just helps our swag.”
To basically have the cornerstones of the organization in your corner proves helpful for Rondo. The confidence and trust amongst the group makes maintenance of chemistry better. Last season, there was success up until injury, which brought about unraveling. Rondo’s voice will be useful during these times. The team is hoping those times are few and far between. But this time, at least they know they have swag to lean on.