The Los Angeles Lakers haven’t made any free agent signings yet this summer, and it sounds like they’re going to continue to take their time. The Lakers were widely expected to be quiet in free agency as they conserve cap room for 2018, and are reportedly only offering one-year deals.
The Lakers also currently have 12 players on their roster, and will have 13 once Thomas Bryant signs his contract. With the league-mandated 15-man roster maximum for the regular season, it would seem the team is mainly going to be looking to fill in the margins and specific needs on one-year deals.
One player who would’ve filled the Lakers goals of acquiring shooting, defense, steady locker room presence and point guard help was George Hill, who the team was rumored to be pursuing with a giant one-year deal. Those leaks served their purpose for Hill, however, who was quickly furnished with the multi-year deal his camp was seeking when the Sacramento Kings offered him to a three-year, $57 million contract.
With Hill going elsewhere, the Lakers may be turning back to Rajon Rondo, a player who checks off their need for veterans and point guards, but doesn’t offer the shooting and defense they’re looking for. Perhaps that’s why they don’t seem to be in a rush to sign him:
I'm told Lakers haven't followed up with Rajon Rondo since recent talks. But his camp expects to hear back soon with George Hill off market.— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) July 4, 2017
With George Hill off the table, Rondo's still part of the conversation. I'd expect the Lakers to consider their options, not rush into that.— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) July 4, 2017
I wouldn't expect clarity on this today. But free agency is always fluid. https://t.co/FRir7Wim3z— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) July 4, 2017
So fans probably shouldn’t expect Fourth of July fireworks on the Rondo front. It appears the Lakers want to take their time, and have reportedly been doing their due diligence on Rondo behind the scenes. We’ll see what decision that informs, we just probably won’t see it today.
Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.