Rajon Rondo redeemed himself and proved his haters that he’s still one of the best playoff performers in the league, helping the Los Angeles Lakers tie the Boston Celtics by winning their 17th NBA Championship and becoming the second player to ever win a ring with both franchises.
Rondo is far from the defender and top-tier playmaker he once was but he proved that he’s the kind of savvy veteran with Championship pedigree that all teams should look for in the offseason, and, apparently, he’s going to be up for grabs.
According to Basketball News, Rondo is poised to opt-out of the final year of his deal with the Lakers to test free agency, and while he could still come back if the purple-and-gold want to bring him for a re-do, he can definitely draw plenty of interest from other teams. Here, we’ll show you the top 5 best destinations for him.
5. Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets are reportedly going to make a lot of moves this offseason to trade for another star. That most likely means that they’ll have to part ways with Spencer Dinwiddie thus being a bit undermanned in terms of ball-handlers.
The Nets could use another Championship-winner veteran and tough-minded floor general to get them over the hump when things get difficult, and he could provide them some much-needed perimeter defense next to Kyrie Irving.
4. Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors have been signing veterans to cheap deals for years now, and if anyone knows how to make the most of his veterans that’s definitely Steve Kerr. Moreover, they’re kind of shorthanded at the point guard spot and he could slide into a similar role to Shaun Livingston’s.
Rondo has never taken the ‘easy’ way out and he’s fought with bones and nails for both of his NBA Championships but no one could judge him if he decided to pursue a ring at the Bay after already helping both the Lakers and Celtics get silverware.
3. Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets feature two offensive juggernauts at the point guard and shooting guard spots who can score in bunches and pile up stats at a high rate. What they lack is a guard that can actually get stops and make good decisions when it matters the most.
Perhaps Rondo will rub both Russell Westbrook and James Harden the wrong way with his personality but maybe he’s the kind of motivator they need to finally prove their doubters wrong. Also, the Rockets face a lot of crossroads this offseason.
2. Miami Heat
Well, it’s pretty clear that the Miami Heat have something special going on and that they’re not going to go away any time soon. Pat Riley is going to be active and aggressive adding more talents, and Rajon Rondo seems like a tailor-made fit for them.
Rondo’s tough defense and leadership would be perfect next to Jimmy Butler. He’d also be an upgrade in terms of defense and playmaking over Kendrick Nunn, especially if Goran Dragic doesn’t come back. He’d go full-circle and join the second most-hated team by Celtics’ fans, though.
1. Los Angeles Lakers
And last, but not least, we have the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers and Frank Vogel trusted Rondo down the stretch and allowed him to be himself. He paid their trust back by knocking down huge shots, throwing dimes, and getting some big stops down the stretch.
It’s pretty clear that Rondo has embraced a leadership role in the Lakers’ locker room and he’s also got LeBron James’ ear. There’s a lot of respect for him in the purple-and-gold so there’s no reason to think he couldn’t just run it back next season.