While it’s unclear whether or not Rondo will remain with the Grizzlies long-term, what remains clear is the 15-year veteran can still be a valuable contributor to any NBA team.
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) August 16, 2021
Rondo’s Journeyman Career After Boston
The 35-year-old Rondo made a splash in the NBA with the Boston Celtics.
As a member of the Celtics, Rondo won an NBA championship and led the league in assists twice and steals once.
He went on to be a four-time All-Star in Boston before bouncing around the league in the second half of his career.
Since being traded from Boston during the 2014-15 season, Rondo has played on eight teams in seven years and led the NBA in assists once.
In 2020 while with the Los Angeles Lakers, Rondo won his second NBA championship.
That win made him just the second player in NBA history to win titles with both Boston and the Lakers.
His most recent stop with the Clippers came after Los Angeles acquired Rondo at the trade deadline last season.
The Clippers shipped Lou Williams and two second-round picks to Atlanta in exchange for Rondo, who steadied Los Angeles’s offense in the second half.
Although he fell out of the rotation late in the playoffs, Rondo remained a valuable contributor throughout.
Despite Memphis’s young star Ja Morant‘s excitement to have him on the roster, Rondo stands as a buyout candidate and could hit the open market yet again.
You're not alone, Ja Morant.
Rajon Rondo with the rock in his hands is pure artistry 🙌 pic.twitter.com/lg1YWqxsX8
— Grizzlies Nation (@GrizNationCP) August 17, 2021
Veteran Teams Targeting Rondo
Rondo’s value to a contending team far outweighs what his value might be for an up-and-coming group like the Grizzlies.
Memphis sports a crowded backcourt of guards who could and should earn rotational minutes.
So it’s difficult to envision Rondo providing any on-court production with the Grizzlies.
A trade also stands as unlikely, considering Rondo’s $7.5 million salary at age 35.
So a buyout seems like the most likely outcome following this trade.
The Grizzlies, with an already packed roster, are open-minded on the futures of all three players in Memphis — and will likely consider trades with some of those arriving in this deal. Memphis gets salary cap flexibility in the summer of 2022 with trade.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 16, 2021
Rondo’s combination of playoff experience, veteran moxie, and leadership makes him clearly useful for any title hopefuls seeking backcourt depth.
One team that might immediately look to sign Rondo is the Lakers.
This offseason, the Lakers have reshaped their roster with the addition of Russell Westbrook and a cast of veterans.
Another potential contender who could eye Rondo is the Golden State Warriors.
The future Hall-of-Fame point guard could provide meaningful minutes behind Stephen Curry.
The Warriors roster lacks depth in the backcourt.
None of those players provide the veteran presence Rondo does.
Another squad who could use Rondo’s services is the Miami Heat.
Fresh off acquiring Kyle Lowry this offseason, the Heat still have need at backup point guard.
Right now, Gabe Vincent stands as Miami’s de facto backup point guard.
Both Miami and the Warriors, however, may elect to play without a traditional backup point guard, considering other players on the roster can facilitate the offense.