The Los Angeles Lakers are on record about preferring modest NBA free agency signings this summer, and although they’re waiting for 2018 to make a big splash, they’re in the market now for a veteran guard.
The Lakers are looking for a veteran guard to backup Lonzo Ball or play alongside him. Reports have surfaced that L.A. is ‘strongly considering’ Rajon Rondo and have also engaged in trade talks with George Hill. Outside of veteran guards, the Lakers were reportedly interested in re-signing Tyler Ennis who they acquired last season in a trade with the Houston Rockets. However, L.A. is hoping to have a veteran presence at the position to help guide Lonzo.
Lakers obviously hanging back at start of free agency, but one player they continue to give strong consideration to is Rajon Rondo
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 2, 2017
Free agent George Hill and reps are meeting with the Lakers today in Los Angeles, discussing a one-year deal, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 3, 2017
Either Rondo or Hill would make a good fit for the Lakers on a 1-year deal. Hill would likely start alongside Ball and help him lead on the court while Rondo would be a solid backup for Ball. Signing Hill would have more upside because that would give L.A. the opportunity to re-sign him in 2018 along with Paul George (potentially) and another max free agent. Hill is certainly more dynamic than Rondo is at this stage of his career and doesn’t come with a tainted past.
But despite Rondo’s rocky relationships with past coaches and GMs, he was a locker room favorite among players and is someone Kobe Bryant favors because of his toughness and basketball IQ.
The Lakers recently released center Tarik Black though he was a fan favorite, and his open roster spot means L.A. has room to sign two players. That means the Lakers could potentially bring back Ennis and either Hill or Rondo. The only issue will be cap space. L.A. reportedly has $17 million available which should be enough for Ennis and Rondo but signing Hill may cost them more.
Dion Waiters, ex-client of Rob Pelinka, has also come up in free agency rumors for L.A. but after a breakout year with the Miami Heat last season, his services will come with a higher price tag than the Lakers may be able to manage.
No decisions have been made yet but L.A. has the attention of a few quality guards that can support Lonzo.