Rajon Rondo, the veteran point guard of the Los Angeles Lakers, was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers as part of a three-team deal that also involved the New York Knicks. This marks the first trade of the NBA season for the Lakers, but the team won’t stop there.
During the offseason, the Lakers overhauled practically their entire roster, leaving only Jame Anthony Davis and Talen Horton-Tucker from last season. The Lakers, unfortunately, have struggled so far as they are only 20-19 in the league.
With 39 games played, the team plans to make another major roster change.
In what has been touted as another roster shift, they started by trading Rajon Rondo to the Cavaliers.
The Lakers just signed Rondo this offseason after he played for the Los Angeles Clippers and Atlanta Hawks in 2020-21. As a veteran point guard, he also contributed to the Lakers’ winning the NBA championship in the past season.
The Lakers opened up a roster spot with the trade of Rondo to the Cavaliers, a spot that could very well go to Stanley Johnson. Since so many players entered the league’s health and safety protocols, Johnson played well after joining the team on a hardship waiver.
As a result of his hard-nosed defense, he gained the respect of the coaching staff and teammates, and got into the starting lineup. The Lakers have found success playing small without Anthony Davis thanks to Johnson’s ability to play on that end of the court.
Windhorst says the Lakers are looking to trade DeAndre Jordan and Kent Bazemore pic.twitter.com/K37ktOtGeJ
— pickuphoop (@pickuphoop) January 5, 2022
Next veterans to trade
In the past, Los Angeles has established the habit of signing players who are bought out of their contracts after the deadline. And that might explain why they want to clear a few more roster spots now. According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, DeAndre Jordan and Kent Bazemore are next on the team’s trading list.
“From teams that I have talked to, they are out there, with LeBron starting at the center and eventually getting Anthony Davis back, they are looking to move DeAndre Jordan,” he added.
“Not necessarily for another player, but to move him so that they can open up a roster spot. Kent Bazemore is another player that they’ve been willing to talk about, talking to some other teams. I think their goal is to open up a roster spot.”
Since Anthony Davis is out due to injury, several players have gotten more minutes than before. DeAndre Jordan and Kent Bazemore, however, have been underwhelming for the Lakers so far.
In 18 starts for the Lakers this season, Jordan has averaged 4.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 0.3 assists. But he hasn’t managed to make an appearance in the last six matches, having fallen down the pecking order.
As for Kent Bazemore, during this season he has averaged 4.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 0.9 assists per game. Looking at the stats, it is possible for the Lakers to just waive these two players. It would, however, require the team to pay their salaries and taxes. Therefore, trading them would be the best option to free up two roster spots.