Reports have surfaced that the Los Angeles Lakers turned down a trade for Boston Celtics’ point guard Rajon Rondo because they didn’t want to trade forward Pau Gasol. Sad because Rondo would have made the Lakers way more dangerous than Gasol could at this point. Here are five reasons why:
THE AGE FACTOR
Rondo is nearly five years younger than Gasol and would be a great player for Andrew Bynum to grow with. A big man needs someone who can get him the ball which Rondo has proven he can do during his time in Boston. Rondo would also help the team in its coming transition from the Kobe Bryant era with Bryant nearing the end of his career.
RONDO WOULD IMPROVE TEAM DEFENSE
Sure it can be a little intimidating to have two seven-footers in the paint but Rondo could help the Lakers more defensively than Gasol at this point. Point guards have seemingly taken over the league and Rondo is probably the best of them defensively. He has the ability to stay in front of some of the league’s fastest point guards and he also has the speed to put pressure on opposing teams.
RONDO HELPS PRESERVE KOBE
Having Rondo in the lineup makes it easier to rest Kobe more. The Lakers offense stagnates every time Bryant comes off the floor because he is the only player on the team who can create his own offense. Rondo can not only create his offense but he is great at getting others the ball in position to score as evidenced by the 10 assists-per-game he is averaging so far this season.
RONDO MAKES RESERVES BETTER
Do you think we would have ever heard the name Steve Novak this year if it had not been for Jeremy Lin? The Lakers have guys on this team that can shoot but they don’t have a guy on the team that can push the ball and allow them to spot up for open jumpers. If Rondo were brought he could help this team better utilize some of the young shooters and athletes they have on the bench. Rondo also likes to throw lobs but you don’t see that much because of the older roster surrounding him in Boston. I guarantee if Rondo were brought in you would see a lot more production from Josh McRoberts, Jason Kapono, Matt Barnes, Devin Eubanks and Troy Murphy.
RONDO HAS ROOM TO IMPROVE
There are knocks on Rondo because of his poor shooting both from the field and the free throw line but these are areas he can get better at. He also has the ability to score more but he usually defers to the elder players on his current roster. Gasol on the other hand is in decline which means if the Lakers don’t trade him soon they won’t much back for him down the line once his value drops. He is only scoring a little over three points more per game than Rondo which Rondo could easily make up if given the opportunity.
But the Lakers do have one major reason for keeping Gasol despite his age and declining skills and that is because they don’t truly believe that Bynum is over his health issues. Trust me if they believed that Bynum could stay healthy they would trade Gasol in a second. Let’s just hope they don’t jeopardize Bryant’s health by continuing to run him ragged simply because they can’t depend on Bynum’s.
Do you think the Lakers would be better off with Gasol or Rondo? We would love to hear your comments.
Roosevelt Hall is an NFL Blogger for The Sport Mentalist and is also an NBA Blogger for The Sport Mentalist 2. He can be contacted at RHall_TPFB@Yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @sportmentalist and add him on Facebook Roosevelt Hall Thesportmentalist.