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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Rajon Rondo Business Grade: Lakers clear room for improvement in roster; Cavs hires veteran guard to replace Ricky Rubio

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been one of the best stories of this strange NBA season, and as the calendar turns to 2022, they sit 20-14 in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. But he suffered a major loss earlier this week when veteran point guard Ricky Rubio went down with a torn ACL that would keep him out for the rest of the season. In need of another point guard — specifically, a veteran to help with their youth roster — the Cavaliers have struck a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers to acquire Rajon Rondo, According to Shams Charania of Athletics, Cleveland is sending Denzel Valentine to Los Angeles for Rondo, According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, The Lakers are reportedly hoping to forgive Valentine for creating an open roster.

Rondo, who entered the league’s health and safety protocol on December 26, has struggled so far with the Lakers, conceding only 3.1 points and 3.7 assists per game on 32.4 percent shooting from the ground and 26.7 percent shooting from 3-point ground. . At this point in his career, he isn’t the most exciting acquisition and will be a downgrade on Rubio. But the Cavaliers don’t have too many options in the middle of the season, and Rondo will bring at least some of the same qualities. He is still a capable defender who will fit in with the Cavaliers’ defense-first style, and will always be able to run an offense.

Rondo is excited about the opportunity to play a bigger role with an emerging Cavs team, Per Wojnarowski, Ever since she was mentioned, she has reportedly seen the business in a positive light. Even if Rondo could bring some of the same skills, it would be difficult for him to replicate Rubio’s influence. The Cavaliers have been much better this season with Rubio on the court.

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Rubio also brings up some intangible things in terms of leadership and camaraderie.

“I think this team is very close, so it’s like an extended member of the family goes down and it hurts you,” said Kevin Love after Rubio was injured. “It’s sad to see anyone go down, but especially someone like Ricky, who has been so consistent for us and brings so much to this team for so many different reasons.”

Now with Rondo joining the squad, it will be interesting to see if the Cavaliers can top the picture of the Eastern Conference playoffs. They are already without Colin Sexton for the season due to a torn meniscus, which would put additional responsibility on young guard Darius Garland to lead in the backcourt.

For the Lakers, it should come as no surprise that they transferred Rondo. Not only has he done poorly this season, he doesn’t fit the roster. Moving him opens up a roster spot that they can use for another shooter or at greater frontcourt depth. Here’s how both parties were classified in the deal:

Lakers receive:

Cavaliers receive:

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Los Angeles Business Grade: A-

This is a very simple calculus for the Lakers. They wanted to clear the roster spot. Doing so by forgiving Rondo would have left about $7 million in dead money between his salary and the luxury tax. By trading her in for a partially guaranteed Valentine, that figure is slashed by almost half, to about $3.7 million, Yossi Gozlan of Hoopsheep, This is the Lakers team that let Alex Caruso run because of taxes. Savings are the kind of thing, especially if they’re going to upgrade elsewhere on the deadline. The Lakers gained those saves by trading in Rondo for a player who had been out of rotation before COVID put their hands on it. They can now use this roster spot to retain Stanley Johnson, who has played well for them on a 10-day contract, in case a further is needed. Essentially, swapping the Rondo for Johnson at minimal cost is a free upgrade, as long as Johnson maintains his recent productivity.

Cleveland Trade Grade: C

Cleveland couldn’t have lost Rubio at a worse time. In a normal season, the Cavs would have signed a free-agent point guard to serve as a stopgap backup while they sought a long-term solution… this made Rondo perhaps their best short-term option, and it Not saying much. Rondo has been ineffective this season and hasn’t even been an average regular-season player since at least the 2017-18 season. Cleveland probably shouldn’t expect much from Rondo for the long haul, and should continue to seek upgrades in other trades, but the deal didn’t even cost the Cavs a second-round pick. It’s ultimately a harmless move that gives them a better stand-in than they could have gotten in free agency. Rondo isn’t ideal, but he’s better than nothing.

World Nation News Desk
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