Former Chicago Bulls: Rondo ‘expected to decline’ his option with Lakers

Rajon Rondo Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Rajon Rondo Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Former Chicago Bulls veteran floor general Rajon Rondo is reportedly anticipated to opt out of his current two-year deal with the Lakers this offseason.

After getting the second NBA Championship of his career this season, with the top-seeded (out of the Western Conference) Los Angeles Lakers and superstar LeBron James, former Chicago Bulls veteran point guard Rajon Rondo could hit the free agent market this offseason.

According to a report on Oct. 15 from Shams Charania of The Athletic, Rondo is “expected” to decline his player option this offseason ahead of this cycle of free agency. Rondo is one of a double-digit number of Lakers on their current roster that could be free agents this offseason.

He had originally re-signed with the Lakers last offseason in a two-year contract worth around $6 million in total. But there was a player option after one year, so Rondo could hit the open market again this offseason. Rondo had signed a one-year contract to join the Lakers ahead of the 2018-19 regular season. So if he was to either pick-up his player option or re-sign with the Lakers after opting out, it would be his third year with LeBron in LA.

In that report from Charania in The Athletic, it mentions that Rondo is anticipated to have interest coming from multiple teams that could use him as a chip to build a contender. And apparently that list of teams that would be interested in signing Rondo this offseason, if he opts out of his current contract, would include the Lakers.

It does seem very far fetched that a team like the Bulls would try and bring back Rondo. At this point of his career, the 34-year-old Rondo should fit into more of a veteran mentor role than someone who can be a true go-to floor general in a rebuilding starting five.

Rondo played in 48 games during the shortened 2019-20 regular season with the Lakers (three of which he started in). He averaged 7.1 points per game, 3.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 0.8 steals. And Rondo shot 41.8 percent from the field, 32.8 percent from beyond the arc, and 65.9 percent from the free-throw line.

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In his playoff run with the Lakers, Rondo played in 16 games (not starting in a single one of them). He averaged an improved 8.9 points per game, 4.3 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 1.4 steals, after returning from injury in the bubble at Disney World.