This NBA off-season for the Los Angeles Lakers has made the most noise in recent memory. Back in 2012, the organization acquired aging Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to join Kobe Bryant known as the “super team” assembled a few years late. This was the last time anyone cared or believed the Lakers had any chance of being competitive and winning a championship. This formula did not work out so well as the team was swept in the first round of the playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs. Fast forward to 2018 and Magic Johnson, Jeanie Buss, and Rob Pelinka had the cap space to sign the best basketball player in the world to a four year, $154 million contract as in Lebron James. Along with James, the organization brought in Rajon Rondo, Lance Stevenson, Javale McGee, and Michael Beasley all on one year deals respectively. Rajon Rondo signing for the most at $9 million. Other than Lebron, the point guard battle between Lonzo and Rondo seems to be the most intriguing heading into this upcoming season within the organization.
Many would say, Lonzo is the clear cut favorite to win the job as he is entering his second season with the Lakers. As a rookie, he averaged 10.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 7.2 assists per game by only appearing in 52 games. Rondo played in 65 games and averaged 8.3 points, 4 rebounds, and 8.2 assists respectively in his 13th season. Rajon Rondo is an NBA champion and has one of the highest IQ’s in basketball. That may end the argument of who should win the starting role. Rondo has the ability to create plays and make his teammates better around him. Pairing his IQ with James at the same time could be a lethal combination on the court. Rondo is an unselfish, pass first point guard who could compliment James’ style of basketball real well. When he decides to play defense, he can help turn the ball over, look up, and feed a delicious dime to the greatest player on the planet. Lonzo also has the ability to help create shots for his new teammate. Lonzo struggled with his shot at times last season so passing the ball is the best option until he can prove his shot has improved and adjusted to the NBA style of play. Ultimately, both players can help The King in various, but similar ways.
The veteran Rondo is going to push Lonzo at practice. Believe it or not, I can argue they will become great teammates and friends outside of basketball. If I were Lonzo, I would pay attention and become the best protege possible to learn all the knowledge and advice that Rondo will provide throughout the season. Rajon Rondo is a competitor and will drive Lonzo to the starting position. Don’t get me wrong, things can change drastically if James can’t get along with the young core or if the impeccable father Lavar steps in the way. No matter what each player produces, “coach” Lebron will choose who the starting point guard will be night in and night out during the 2018-2019 NBA season.
Side note: The Boston Celtics will raise #9 into the rafters when one of the best passers in history hangs them up.