Last summer, the Los Angeles Lakers signed Rajon Rondo to a lucrative one-year, $9 million deal with the hope that he would provide leadership to a young team on and off the court. While the former garnered mixed results, the latter mostly worked out, especially with second-year point guard Lonzo Ball.
During Ball’s appearance on “The House of Highlights Show” this week, he had nothing but positive things to say about his experience with Rondo this past season.
“Not even playing with him, just being around him. The way he is on the court is how he is off the court. He’s always thinking about everything. Just being around him, you can learn so much. He’s probably one of the smartest dudes I’ve talked to,” Ball said of the 12-year veteran.
Unfortunately, they didn’t get to spend a ton of time on the court together. This season, Ball and Rondo only played 10 games together due to a combination of suspensions and injuries. In the 10 games they did play together, they posted a -14.8 net rating.
Rondo on his own didn’t live up to the contract the Lakers gave him, either, and by the end of the season he was being outplayed by the team’s two-way player Alex Caruso. Rondo ended the season with a team-low box plus-minus of -5.3. Caruso ended the season with the fourth highest BPM on the team.
Still, it seems as though Rondo still managed to leave his footprint on the Lakers this season with his veteran leadership, something that was a stated goal of his. While that might not get him another contract worth $9 million when he hits unrestricted free agency this summer, it should increase the number of suitors he’ll get.