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L.A. assigns Rajon Rondo to South Bay Lakers as part of rehab process

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Rajon Rondo will practice with the South Bay Lakers (but not play in the G League) to get ready to make his NBA return.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Los Angeles Lakers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers might soon be getting their backup point guard back from a broken hand he sustained more than a month ago. It feels like forever ago that Rajon Rondo last played for the Lakers, but the team announced that he’s made the next step in returning to full health.

Update: Rondo (and Brandon Ingram) have both been recalled by L.A. Original story follows.

The Lakers sent out a press release on the latest development in Rondo’s recovery. He's heading to the G League:

The Los Angeles Lakers have assigned guard Rajon Rondo to the South Bay Lakers on rehab assignment, it was announced today.

Rondo appeared in 11 games this season before suffering a right hand injury on November 14 vs. Portland, averaging 8.5 points, 6.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 25.2 minutes a game.

Make no mistake about this, the Lakers need Rondo back so as to shore up the inconsistencies seen from the second unit. Luke Walton has tried to get by with Brandon Ingram as the de-facto backup point guard, but as he’s currently recovering from an injury of his own, the second unit has been run at times by some combination of Svi Mykhailiuk and Lance Stephenson.

It’s gone about as well as you’d imagine.

What will be interesting to watch is how reliant Walton becomes on Rondo whenever he finally does return to the Lakers' active roster. Lonzo Ball has shown flashes of being able to provide what the team needs from him, but still remains inconsistent (as most second-year players are). When Rondo was healthy, Walton mostly relied on him in clutch situations. Fans will be watching closely to see if that continues once Rondo is healthy.

It’s hard to see Rondo being inserted into the starting lineup given how well the Lakers have played recently, but you just never really know with these things. Regardless, the Lakers will be happy to have a key component of the rotation back, and today’s news brings us closer to that.