The Los Angeles Lakers have a creativity problem. Yes, they have LeBron James to run the offense for the majority of games, but as soon as he sits down, things tend to get stuck in some of the thickest mud on the face of the planet. We’re talking borderline clay or wet cement.
Theoretically, heading into the season, Rob Pelinka and the front office thought Rajon Rondo could carry that burden, but few things have been made clearer than that he simply isn’t up to the task — at least to anyone watching the game that doesn’t have an NBA background.
According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, though, the sentiment in league circles might be starting to swing:
“The Lakers need another playmaking guard. Rondo’s not what he used to be. The ball sticks with him, and he doesn’t defend anymore,” one Eastern Conference executive said, echoing an opinion held by many execs in attendance at December’s G League Showcase. “They need another point guard to help LeBron. If they’re going to make a trade, that’s what they need to target.”
Unless you’re Kendrick Perkins, there’s something of a fraternity among former players and people still in the league. For the most part, not much legitimate criticism goes on, especially not at someone with Rondo’s resumé. So it’s pretty interesting to see that he’s been so bad that someone in the NBA would even offer up this quote.
I could go into detail on how this executive is right but, well, that’s basically my entire Twitter timeline at this point, so why bother.
Where this really hurts the Lakers, though, is in the fact that James literally can’t sit for stretches of the game without the nagging fear that a run is probably coming from the opposing team that will force him into the game prematurely.
It would be nice if on nights where James and Anthony Davis do enough to be able to ice their knees for an entire fourth quarter that they actually get the payoff to their efforts. But that simply isn’t possible given how awful the team looks when James especially sits.
Maybe Frank Vogel and the coaching staff could do more to mitigate against Rondo’s effect on the game, but as things stand right now, that Eastern Conference executive is absolutely right. The Lakers probably have to make a move (hi, Darren Collison — just checking in again), and the sooner the better, if for nothing other than my own sanity.
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