Having jarred adult a NBA by successfully recruiting LeBron James on a initial day of giveaway agency, a Lakers followed it adult by adding Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee and, many recently, Rajon Rondo. Those successive moves lift one critical question: LeBron is wakeful a Lakers did that, right? It’s value seeking because, in a past, those players’ relations with James have ranged from occasional irritants to undisguised nemeses. And that’s before we plead how they might — or competence not — mesh on a justice with a former Cavaliers superstar.
Actually, let’s start there, given it relates to most of a difficulty generated Monday by a news that a Lakers had concluded to a one-year, $9 million understanding with Rondo. While a 32-year-old indicate ensure gifted something of a rebirth final deteriorate with a Pelicans and meets James’s voiced welfare for teammates who play with intelligence, he won’t have a round in his hands as most as he would like. Further, his three-point sharpened has usually softened to a indicate where it could pretty be described as subsequent average.
That would seem to be a problem, given as a NBA has embraced a small-ball era, James’s playmaking abilities have been best complemented by teammates proficient during sharpened from over a arc. If Rondo comes adult brief in that regard, though, he is definitely Curry-esque compared to Stephenson, who owns a hideous 30.3 career sharpened commission from three-point range, including only 28.9 percent on 232 attempts final season.
What both Rondo and Stephenson do pierce to a list is defensive tenacity, as good as playoff experience, a profitable commodity given a youthfulness of a Lakers and James’s annual designs on trips to a NBA Finals. Of course, a pair’s many postseason runs have enclosed countless showdowns as opponents of James when he played for a Cavs and Heat, including a memorable impulse in a 2014 Eastern Conference finals when Stephenson blew in a certain someone’s ear.
Over a years, Stephenson also got underneath James’s skin by removing in his face during playoff games, in further to flopping and, on during slightest one occasion, creation a “choke” sign. For Rondo’s part, when he was a member of a Celtics, James was such a hated opposition that Rondo and teammates Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce ostracized Ray Allen for years, with bad blood continuing to this day, after Allen left Boston to join James in Miami.
McGee doesn’t have utterly a same story with James, though he did apparently get on a latter’s bad side adequate to have been blocked by James on Instagram. A plain shot-blocker in his possess right, as good as an contestant who can peep to a basket in a collect and roll, McGee would seem to element James’s personification character good enough, though he is only 1 for 15 in his career from three-point range. As for his basketball IQ, 3 difference should suffice: Shaqtin’. A. Fool.
On a other hand, all 3 players have reportedly concluded to pointer for only one year any and on inexpensive deals during that, quite in a cases of Stephenson and McGee, so Los Angeles hasn’t done vital investments and is gripping register coherence for subsequent summer’s giveaway representative crop. Rondo could also be an glorious mentor for Lonzo Ball, final year’s No. 2 breeze collect who shares many of a veteran’s traits, including sharp flitting skills and … an shocking inability to fire well.
So that, again, wouldn’t seem to bode good for a assemblage of a correct ancillary expel for James, but, as many have speculated, Ball might not be prolonged for a roster. The Lakers could be formulation on including him in a understanding for some-more gifted help, that would go most of a approach toward explaining a merger of Rondo.
Los Angeles already has split ways with one of a distinguished immature players, renouncing a rights Monday to Julius Randle, a seventh breeze collect in 2014 who reportedly has concluded to join a New Orleans Pelicans. More could follow if a Lakers make a trade with a Spurs for Kawhi Leonard, with a likes of Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma presumably on a table.
In a meantime, after conducting a girl transformation over a past few years, Los Angeles is following a further of a 33-year-old James by removing comparison elsewhere on a roster. It stays to be seen what else a group is getting, though it should be engaging to watch.
You put Rondo and JaVale and Lance on one team.
You also put a (arguably) Greatest Player of All Time on that team.
Is this some arrange of wandering experiment?
— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) July 2, 2018
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