The Los Angeles Lakers will once again be without Rajon Rondo due to an ailing hand. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported he’ll miss a month after requiring surgery on his badly-sprained right ring finger.
Charania’s report dropped early Friday morning:
Sources on @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium: Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo is expected to undergo surgery on his injured right hand and miss one month.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 28, 2018
Rondo is coming off his best game as a Laker and only his third game back from a broken hand that kept him out just over a month. He’s missed 21 of the Lakers’ 35 games played this season.
While it’s it’s nearly impossible to account for hard tissue injuries (sprains, broken bones, etc.), the Lakers needed a player they could rely on to at least be in the lineup throughout the year and, quite frankly, you can’t say that about Rondo at this point. He will in all likelihood finish this year having played in half its games at a spot (the backup point guard) that severely hampered the Lakers’ season a year ago.
Once again, the responsibility falls on Lonzo Ball to guide the team as its only NBA-caliber point guard — especially with LeBron James still out with his groin injury. Brandon Ingram will be expected to carry the load as the team’s de facto backup point guard. Alex Caruso played a short stretch in the Lakers’ loss to the Sacramento Kings, but they’ve been very reluctant to utilize him in that role.
The Lakers currently have 15 guys on their active roster as well as two two-way players, so there is little to no flexibility to add a player to fill Rondo’s role not just in this absence, but in case injuries continue to hold him back this season. The Lakers could make a trade of some sort, but they’d have to give up very little as they have their sights set on using all their assets in an Anthony Davis trade.
Rondo’s absence comes at a tough time, especially factoring in how insane the Western Conference playoff race is shaping up to be. A couple losses here and there and the Lakers could very easily find themselves on the outside looking in. Let’s all hope it doesn’t come to that and the remaining available guys can at least tread water as everyone gets healthy.
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