Hello Lakers Nation.
Trevor Lane here senior writer for lakers nation dot com.
This is the Lakers Nation news feed.
We're continuing our player previews, getting ready for the beginning of the Lakers season.
It feels like it's been forever since we've seen Lakers basketball.
And now we're just counting down the days the regular season is coming up.
Pre season will be here before we know it's gonna be media day.
It's gonna be amazing.
Can't wait for this Lakersseason today.
The guy that we're diving into, perhaps the most polarizing of the Los Angeles Lakers region.
Rondo Look, I get it wasn't a great season from Rondo last year.
This season, hopefully, we could see something a little bit better from him.
I know Lakers fans are skeptical of this point, but I'm gonna break into it.
I'm gonna break down all the numbers and explain what we might see out of rage on Rondo.
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All right, So this last summer, the Lakers re signed Rondo on a one year minimum deal.
There's a second year that is a player option on that deal.
It's a minimum contract.
So nothing not too big glory in terms of the salary cap ER or anything like that.
The Lakers had the money to go ahead and get him because he's on that minimum deal so wouldn't have impacted, say, a Kawai Leonard signing or anything of that nature.
But Rondo last season for the Lakers look was not good.
We had heard all of these things about how great he was in film study, how he was taking guys under his wing like Lonzo Ball and Cock Koosman.
He was helping them out.
Look, we don't want to doubt those things.
Rondo is certainly one of the smartest players in the n b.
A. He understands the game.
He understands angles.
He understands where guys you're supposed to be defensively.
The issue isn't up here with his brain.
The issue is his body.
The fact that he's 33 now going on 34 he just can't cut it.
You can't do it the way he used to do.
Can he still be a player in this league? Yeah, I think I think he can still play in the n b A.
Just not in the rule that were we become accustomed to with Ron.
Oh, this isn't Ah, this isn't 2010 Rondo or anything like that, where he's arguably the best player on the Celtics team that had a ll, the big pieces Kevin Garnett and Paul Pearson.
Reality and and all them Instead.
This is a regime Rondo that just isn't quite there.
He's not at that level anymore.
And the numbers show it.
The numbers showed just how tough it was, putting Rondo on the floor 36% from three.
Let's start with a positive thing. That's actually not bad.
That's slightly above league average.
Rondo has a reputation as a non shooter.
It's a guy who just doesn't take threes and and he actually did a lot better.
In fact, a recent interview that might Riddell did with Frank Vogel.
One of things that Vogel mentioned was that Rondo has shot the heck out of the ball from the three point line.
He is clearly put in the work and has improved as a three point shooter.
You'll take 36% from three all day.
But the challenges that running was a reluctant shooter, and defense is recognized that we saw a defense is still giving him plenty of space last year behind the three point line because they knew if you did take a three, it was probably gonna be out of rhythm because he wasn't really looking to shoot that shop.
It wasn't something where the ball is finding him, and then he's pulling up right away and firing with confidence.
Now he's still not getting 36%.
And so maybe next season, we see, in effect, where teams do start to cover him a little bit more.
Since he is shooting slightly above league average in who knows if Vogel is right that he has been shooting the ball even better this summer, and that carries over to the season.
Maybe that's a factor as well.
Look, players can improve their shooting as time goes on.
Yes, Rondo has not been a good shooter for his career free throw percentage shows.
That bears that out 64% from the free throw line last season.
That's actually pretty close to his career.
High fromthe line.
Not a great shooter.
But you know what? Jason Kidd wasn't known as the three point shooter, either during his career until the end, until he had to become one because he couldn't get to the basket anymore.
And so he became a pretty decent three point shooter. And the necessity.
Maybe we see something like that out of Rondo, and I'm not exactly holding my breath.
I expect him to become a great shooter.
FirstEnergy 32nd percentile defensively.
Really, really not good? Um, yeah, that's just not gonna cut it.
In fact, one of the issues that we saw with Rhonda last season on the defensive end was that Lonzo ball got hurt, and so Rondo then had to come in as the starter.
And when he's going up against the best of the best, that's a challenge.
Rondo coming off the bench against backups.
Maybe you might be able to talk me into that.
I still don't know that he can really stick with the guys anymore.
But run two against starters, It was a big, big problem for the Lakers.
He was getting burned consistently.
That's a big issue.
So that's for that reason alone.
I don't think Rondo is gonna legitimately be an option to be the starting point guard, But there's some comments that came out recently that ah might have Lakers fans who agree with me about Rondo's defensive skills a little bit worried.
I may get into that in just a moment.
A big, big challenge, though.
Eighth percentile offensively.
This is horrendous.
On the offensive end on Lee, three guards in the N. B.
A were worse than Rondo in terms of point from possession that saw 100 possessions or more.
So I'm tracking other guys that didn't go out there for, you know, 10 possessions on the season that had happened to have 10 poor possessions or anything.
We eliminated the small sample size year.
Those three guards De'anthony, Melton, Frank Miller, Kina and Jose Calderone.
Those are the only three players that were worse on the offensive end that actually saw a decent amount of opportunities than region. Rondo.
Not good for the Lakers.
Not good. B. He pounds the ball.
He probes into the pain he hunts for a cyst.
That was often a problem where he would pass up on wide open layup.
So they kick the ball out to shooter, trying to find an assist.
Look, he's fine with passing.
He enjoys passing out of the pick and roll.
Actually, his most effective offensive set was the being the ball, handling the pick and roll 32nd percentile in that situation.
So even even at his very best, Rhonda was not a good offensive player.
32nd percentile is not that great.
And that was the best thing that he could offer on the offensive end again.
The shooting has improved a little bit, but overall, he's not getting the job done on the offense event and on the defense of end, it wasn't pretty either.
This is why, if you look at the advance stats, Alex Caruso is head and shoulders better than rage on Rondo.
There's no question if you watch the games last year, the eyeball test said the same thing.
This just isn't the same regime Rondo.
At this point, it's just not okay again.
I like him a little bit better coming off the bench going. It's backups.
If you play about there for, say, 10 minutes a night, maybe you've got something.
Maybe he could do that 10 to 15 minute night spurt.
Maybe you can use his veteran presence in the locker room in the practice session.
In film studies, things like that, you can still make him a positive in those ways.
But in terms of on the floor, being a player that's going to be be making a difference.
I don't know if you can expect that at a Rondo anymore, but if you think like I do, this has got to be a little concerning Frank Vogel talking to my true del on Rondo and LeBron.
The Rondo and LeBron stuff was a little surprising to me because they're obviously two of the game's greats, but in some ways also not surprising.
When you look at the environment around them in terms of the team's lack of shooting last year around those two guys.
The pieces have gotta fit, and we've had a long conversation about that, and I actually expected to be a complete reversal this year.
I think those two guys will be great together.
Trudeau had asked him a question about the fact that Alex Caruso and LeBron James is a pairing was pretty good.
Statistically, Rondo and LeBron not so much.
And here Vogel is kind of defending the LeBron Rondo pairing, saying that, Well, you know, it's not so much Rondo.
It's the guys we had around him.
It's that we didn't have enough shooting around.
Is that true? Yeah, they didn't have enough shooting around Run.
Noah passed first guard who likes to kick out to open shooters.
You gotta have guys that can actually knock down those shots for him to be effective.
Vogel has an argument here.
He's not wrong, but I'm not sure that having the shooting makes Rondo all that much better.
Does that suddenly make him such an effective player that you have to keep him on the floor, knowing the defensive limitations that come with him and knowing how badly the offense played with him? out there on the floor.
Who knows? Holding group.
Maybe if you surround him with shooters, suddenly you find in an effective basketball player.
Hold my breath on that one.
And then Anthony Davis had some comments.
Anthony Davis recently said, I've got Rondo back as my point guard.
He's a guy I can count on to get me the ball in my sweet spot.
So you've got Frank Vogel, who's a key decision maker when it comes to playing time here means the head coach kind of defending Rondo.
And now you've got Anthony Davis, who is also a major decision maker.
We know some of the Lakers free agent targets were guys that Anthony Davis like.
I mean, they're trying to keep a D happy because they like to re sign him next summer.
And Anthony Davis has spent time playing with Rondo with New Orleans Pelicans.
Part of the reason why he was so excited to come to Los Angeles was to play with Rondo and, unfortunately, DeMarcus cousins, who is out for the season.
And here's a D sticking up for Rondo as well, saying how excited he is.
So it seems like there's definitely some support for Rondo within the organization.
Could that be enough to get him a starting role? Well, Lakers fans, I know right now most of you are saying we hope that everything from the eye test to the stats say he should not be the Lakers starting point guard.
But you never know.
I'm still not convinced he can't help at all.
But I would be much, much more comfortable seeing Rondo in a reserve role, coming off the bench if that playing limited minutes and just doing what he can in short bursts.
Rather than ask him to take on a major role the Lakers brought in some young guards.
You've got Alex Caruso.
You've got Quinn Cook.
You've got Avery Bradley, who's more of a veteran.
But it is obviously much younger than Rondo, and he's 29.
So you've got some guards who can handle the bulk of the minutes there, so I would rather see the Lakers turn to those guys, then give a bunch of minutes to Rondo.
Definitely something to keep an eye on.
Is Anthony Davis pushing Ferrando? Is Vogel listening to that? Is Vogel gonna be okay? give me a lot of minutes to Rondo.
I know there's gonna be a lot of upset Lakers fans.
If that does happen, we'll see how it all plays out again.
I'm not totally writing off Rondo.
He's been an amazing veteran of this lady's at an incredible career, gone far beyond what anyone could have expected of him coming out of the draft.
So give him full credit.
But there's just a certain reality when you hit an age in the n b A.
There's a certain point where look Father times undefeated and it feels like Rondo has hit that point.
Who knows? Maybe he proves me wrong.
Maybe it turns out that all he needs is some shooters around him, and he goes back to being an effective player.
But again, in my case, I'm gonna wait till I see it to believe it.
Let me know what you guys think is run two apiece.
The Lakers can really depend on this season or isn't going to beam or something where they need to turn to the younger guards can run.
Let me know what you think.
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