This week in Lakers’ news:
Connect 4: This week was all about Rajon Rondo, who was officially signed to a one-year deal by the Lakers on Tuesday less than a full calendar year since he won the 2020 NBA title in purple and gold.
Rondo’s addition to the roster has many asking questions about his role and the minutes distribution among the guards but the vet ensured everyone that he knows he’ll have to take a bigger mentorship role for the likes of Kendrick Nunn and Talen Horton-Tucker in lieu of getting heavy minutes.
Point God: It’s no surprise that LeBron James and Anthony Davis signed off and probably encouraged a Rondo signing. But rumors came out this week that AD’s preference to have his two-time teammate came in part due to frustrations from Dennis Schröder’s passing last season.
Anchor Down: Somehow, the Lakers keep getting linked to bigs. This time, it’s DeAndre Jordan who is reportedly negotiating a buy out with the Brooklyn Nets. Marc Gasol’s Lakers tenure seems to be in limbo as the Lakers keep looking at the NBA landscape to find a replacement that would join AD and Dwight Howard as the team’s main bigs.
What we wrote this week:
Honi started the week with a mailbag to answer questions about Rondo and Kanye.
Donny put together his thoughts on Frank Vogel’s reported one year extension and the organization not placing enough trust in him.
Walt followed that up by using Vogel’s favorite descriptor for Rondo – swag – and what that means for the Lakers this season.
Alex rounded out the week with a list of some remaining free agent options for the Lakers’ last two open roster spots.
Around the NBA:
The Brooklyn Nets have signed Paul Millsap who had reported interest from several playoff contenders but was never linked to the Lakers. It’s essentially a straight swap with the Denver Nuggets who signed Jeff Green earlier this summer.
The Nets could also be signing Lamarcus Aldridge who was cleared to resume basketball activities this week after he was suddenly forced into retirement due to a heart issue last year. The Nets seem interested in shoring up their frontcourt depth which is probably their biggest area of weakness.
This week also saw major updates to the NBA COVID-19 policies. Players who play for certain markets with local requirements (e.g. New York and San Francisco) will now be required to be vaccinated to play in home arenas without medical or religious exemptions. This rule does NOT apply to visiting players.
Additionally, the NBA is removing certain restrictions such as regular testing and quarantining after close contact for players who are vaccinated. Unvaccinated players still have the same restrictions as before.
Former Lakers’ draft pick Svi Mykhailiuk is signing a two-year deal with the Toronto Raptors after some brief rumors in the purple and gold’s interest to bring him back.
Another former Laker is on the move after the Portland Trail Blazers acquired Larry Nance, Jr. in a three way trade that also say Lauri Markannen traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. That could be one of the final steps towards Kevin Love securing a buyout from the Cavs.
Finally, the Ben Simmons saga continues to pump fake on a three before dribbling aimlessly and passing it to someone else. According to some rumors, Simmons is refusing to participate in training camp or any other Sixers activities while waiting to be traded. He also has seemingly prioritized a move to “three” unspecified California teams. One would assume that the Lakers and Clippers are two of the three but neither seem to have the assets that Philadelphia would want in return though it also appears that no one is willing to part with the pieces that Daryl Morey wants.