For the past several seasons, the focus was on the summer. The 2010 NBA champions had become a quickly fading memory and it became apparent that the team needed to reload. Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol were entering their mid-thirties and the next generation of championship contending Lakers were not in sight. As the team was routinely without first round picks (and when they had them, they selected well out of the lottery), the focus gravitated towards, of course, summer free agency, The Lakers needed to bring on some new blood with cold hard cash–the idea of building through the draft was not exactly the first option.
The rebirth of the Lake Show pointed to July.
That aforementioned summer was almost one year ago. And the 21-59 Lakers are the product of how that summer went.
The front office went after all the top guys of that class, offering maximum salaried deals to LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dirk Nowitzki. They struck out each time. Instead, the team kept their flexibility rolling until the next summer, replicating their plan for another year. The organization is holding out hope that summer 2015 is wholly different from summer 2014 and the rebuild can truly jump start.
However, looking at the landscape of the league, it doesn’t appear that it’s going to be as easy as all that. In fact, this supposed free agent bonanza might be as limited as it was one year ago. The last man standing–and maybe future Laker–could be Rajon Rondo.
Rondo’s pedigree isn’t hard to see. Four-time All-Star, two-time First Team All-Defense, two-time Second Team All-Defense and a 2008 NBA title at the expense of Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. He’s an all-world passer and such a fierce competitor that he’s earned the pronounced vocal respect of the Black Mamba himself. He’s a proven star in many respects and one still in his twenties.
But it seems like the reasons not to sign him far outweigh the reasons in favor of it. Harrison Faigen covered many of them here, the least of which includes the emergence of Jordan Clarkson and the fact that Rajon Rondo…might not be that good.
However, looking at the landscape of the league and where the Lakers are at, I see Rondo’s signing as an inevitability rather than a simple theory. Let’s take a look at the reasons:
(Read on for them reasons at SS&R!)