The Los Angeles Lakers appear to be active in the trade market even after previously trading Rajon Rondo to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Head coach Frank Vogel recently said swapping the veteran playmaker was a “difficult” decision to make at the front office, but one that would be beneficial for both parties. It is widely believed that LA parted ways with Rondo to open up a spot in the roster, giving them extra flexibility ahead of the next trade deadline and the start of the buyout market.
And, the Lakers haven’t yet finished revamping their roster. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on NBA Today that DeAndre Jordan and Kent Bazemore could leave LA next:
“Yeah, so they’ve already offloaded a player to Rondo to create a roster spot and they’re looking to do more…teams I’ve spoken to, they’re there. With LeBron starting in the middle and eventually recovering Anthony Davis, they’re looking to move DeAndre Jordan. Not necessarily for another player, but to move him so he can open up a spot on the roster. Kent Bazemore is another player they wanted to talk about.
And I think again, their goal is [to] open a place on the list. The Rondo move appears to be designed for Stanely Johnson, but they may also be looking for another player in the buyout market. they’re trying to figure out how to do that.
Jordan and Bazemore have seen a drastic reduction in rotational minutes over the past few weeks. The former has played in just five of the Lakers’ last 15 games, spending 10.4 minutes on the floor each night.
Jordan has made seven appearances during that streak, playing 11.5 minutes per game
The Lakers are expected to sign Stanley Johnson to a 10-day contract on Thursday, which would give them the flexibility they seem to be looking for as they approach the trade deadline. If LA wants to make more moves and free up more roster spots, it looks like Jordan and Bazemore are the two prime candidates to deal with if they can find takers.
Vogel talks about his relationship with Rondo
Vogel said the Lakers didn’t give up on Rondo, but instead seized the opportunity to move the guard to a place where he could play a bigger role while opening up a spot on the roster.
The head coach highlighted Rondo’s contributions off the court before describing the depth of the relationship they developed during the 35-year-old’s two stints with the Lakers.
“Rondo means the world to me,” Vogel said. “He’s one of my favorite players I’ve ever coached, he was integral to our winning the championship two years ago, me winning my first championship and he will always be a special player and a special friend for me.
“So I wish him the best at this time and we will continue to keep in touch and so on.”
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