The Los Angeles Lakers are on a roll right now, having won their last seven games, including Friday’s matchup with the No. 3 seed Miami Heat. On Sunday, they most likely will be adding Rajon Rondo to the party.
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Rondo is expected to make his regular season debut for the Lakers on Sunday, when the team hosts the reigning champion Toronto Raptors. Rondo has missed the entirety of the regular season with a calf strain.
Here’s more on the Lakers’ plans for Rondo leading up to Sunday, per Haynes:
The 13-year veteran is expected to go through a final workout at the team’s practice facility on Saturday in preparation for his return, sources said.
With the exception of DeMarcus Cousins — who is expected to miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn ACL in August — the Lakers will have a clean injury report for the first time this season if Rondo is cleared to play (and no one else gets hurt) before Sunday. While that’s obviously a good thing from a pure health standpoint, it could create problems for Vogel, who was just starting to form something that resembled a solid rotation.
Having Rondo back in the mix means that someone is going to lose minutes. The only issue with that is that every point guard on the roster has had a positive impact on the team thus far, including Quinn Cook, who is second on the team in offensive rating, and Alex Caruso, who leads the Lakers in defensive rating. In fact, Troy Daniels is the only guard on the team that doesn’t have a positing net rating (-4.3).
Rondo might have more experience than the two aforementioned guards — specifically experience playing with Anthony Davis and LeBron James — but there’s really nothing that he offers the Lakers that Cook, Caruso or Avery Bradley don’t outside of “veteran-ism” and the occasional highlight pass.
We’ll see how Vogel integrates Rondo into the rotation if the 33-year-old is cleared to play on Sunday, and who gets a bite taken out of their playing time as a result.