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Diminutive guard Rajon Rondo has verbally agreed on joining the Los Angeles Lakers next season on a one-year, $9 million deal.
The 32-year-old Rondo led the New Orleans Pelicans into the second round of the playoffs last season for the first time in a decade. It also marked the second time in the franchise history of New Orleans to make it through the second round.
The former Boston Celtics star averaged a near triple-double in the playoffs scoring 10.3 points, 12.2 assists, and 7.6 rebounds per game.
Rajon Rondo To Ink Deal With LA Lakers
Rondo is expected to officially ink his deal with the LA Lakers after the July moratorium period, which is scheduled to conclude this Friday at 11 a.m. The four-time All-Star joined the Pelicans last season on a one-year deal worth $3.3 million after being waived by the Chicago Bulls.
The erstwhile Pelicans superstar failed to suit up in the first 13 games of the 2017-18 season after suffering muscle injury during the preseason. Nonetheless, Rondo regained his form back by finishing 10 assists in 14 games last season.
With Rondo gone, the Pelicans are expected to hand over the starting duties to New Orleans native Elfrid Payton. The 24-year-old Payton signed a one-year agreement with the Pelicans on Sunday. The four-year NBA guard has decent career numbers of 11.2 points and 6.4 rebounds.
Pelicans Sign Julius Randle
After signing Rondo, the LA Lakers renounced Julius Randle, making him an unrestricted free agent. The Pelicans were quick to offer Randle a two-year deal worth $18 million that sports a player option benefit.
Sources close to the situation say that former Kentucky and current Pelicans star Anthony Davis played a great role in bringing the former seventh overall pick to New Orleans.
Randle who also played for the University of Kentucky had a career year last season averaging monster numbers of 16.1 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in 82 games played.
In addition, Randle was also efficient from the field last season making 55.8 percent of his shots, which is 10th-best in the league. Overall, Randle who started 182 games for the LA Lakers has career averages of 13.5 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 2.6 assists.
Prior to joining the Pelicans, Randle had been looking for an offer sheet. The LA Lakers, however, made it known that they won’t commit in long-term contracts in hopes of landing Kawhi Leonard next year.
The absence of Randle provided the LA Lakers with a $5 million cap space, which could increase to $16 million once they utilized the waive-and-stretch clause on Luol Deng.
Photo: Keith Allison | Flickr
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