Lakers’ contingency plans unclear with Rajon Rondo going to New Orleans

first_imgThe Lakers had a healthy amount of dialogue both with and about veteran guard Rajon Rondo, and whether he would be a good fit for their young roster.Ultimately, the Lakers did not have to decide the varying variables about such a possible partnership. Rondo agreed to a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday, which teams him with DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday on a team poised as a dark-horse Western Conference playoff contender.Rondo found the Lakers to be “first class” as they made “an aggressive push” to acquire him, according to a league source familiar with the situation. After meeting last Tuesday with the Lakers, however, Rondo found it too hard to pass up a starting role with the Pelicans with Cousins and Davis, a source said. It helped that New Orleans is close to his hometown in Louisville, Ky. where his family still lives.The Lakers had split opinions on Rondo within the organization. Some viewed the 31-year-old Rondo as an ideal candidate because of his championship experience, basketball smarts and strong reviews from recent teammates on serving a mentorship role. Others had concerns about Rondo’s clashes with previous coaching staffs in Dallas, Sacramento and Chicago. Still, the Lakers kept an open mind as they talked with previous teammates and coaches for additional clarity on Rondo. The Lakers have 12 players under contract for their regular-season roster, as well as Alex Caruso, who signed to a two-way contract that enables him to spend 45 days with the team and the rest of the season with the South Bay Lakers, the club’s Development League affiliate.The Lakers can spend up to $4.3 million through the “room exception” and sign players to the veteran’s minimum. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersWith Rondo off the market, the Lakers have other possible contingency plans to fill out the rest of their roster. The Lakers had expressed interest in retaining 22-year-old guard Tyler Ennis after free agency started. But they had not offered clarity to what extent because of their possible pursuit of Rondo, according to league sources familiar with the situation.The Lakers liked Ennis’ progression after acquiring him from the Houston Rockets for 32-year-old guard Marcelo Huertas before the Feb. 23. trade deadline. Ennis then averaged a career-high 7.7 points on 45.1 percent shooting and 2.4 assists in 17.8 minutes through 22 games. He also averaged 16.5 points on 50 percent shooting and 5.5 assists in two games as a starter.The Lakers have also shown interest in guards Rodney Stuckey and Ian Clark, though their interest has not been considered as strong.Stuckey averaged 7.2 points but shot only 37.3 percent from the field and 31.7 percent from 3-point range last season before the Indiana Pacers waived him in March after he suffered a strained left patellar tendon. Stuckey has since recovered from his injury, and he says he believes he will improve his shooting accuracy now that he’s healthy.Clark averaged a career-high 6.8 points, while shooting 48.7 percent from the field and 37.4 percent from 3-point range with the Golden State Warriors. Incidentally, the Warriors replaced Clark with Nick Young, who had opted out of his $5.7 million contract with the Lakers to become a free agent.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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