The Los Angeles Lakers have been the most active team in the NBA over the last day. That’s the sort of thing that happens when you get LeBron James — you then have to surround him with talent. While the Lakers have plenty of young talent, the team decided to add some veteran reinforcements in the form of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Lance Stephenson, and JaVale McGee.
Next up, Los Angeles had to figure out what to do with its biggest restricted free agent: Julius Randle. As it turns out, the answer was letting him go for nothing, as the Lakers renounced the young forward and let him become an unrestricted free agent.
Naturally with such a bold move going down, everyone assumed a major move was on the horizon. Would Los Angeles free up space to go get, say, DeMarcus Cousins, or put a major offer sheet in front of Clint Capela? Would this be a precursor to a trade that ends up with Kawhi Leonard in Los Angeles? Or would the Lakers just do something flat-out weird.
Less than 10 minutes after the Randle news dropped, we got the answer: Los Angeles is going to give nine million American dollars to Rajon Rondo for one year of service.
Between this and the Stephenson signing, it seems like Magic Johnson is hell-bent on surrounding James with people who struggle to shoot but, far more importantly, have spent portions of their NBA careers actively hating the best player in the world. For example, who could ever forget the time Ray Allen left the Boston Celtics to join James and the Heat and Rondo responded by actively hating Allen for a few years, or the time this happened…
After bringing Rondo on board, Los Angeles’ cap space suddenly withered down to less than $6 million.
This will all look a little less strange if either the Lakers’ young talent all takes a step forward or if they go out and get Leonard, but for now, it’s a weird time in Los Angeles.