Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
The floodgates have opened for the Los Angeles Lakers as the news of LeBron James’ signing has kicked off a flurry of moves.
The latest: Former Boston Celtics star Rajon Rondo has signed a one year, $9 million deal, according to multiple reports. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the news.
Rondo is the second notable former Celtics point guard to join this current Lakers team, joining Isaiah Thomas, who was traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers this past season.
Guys, they’ve done lost their minds out in Los Angeles.
Rajon Rondo signed a $9M deal in order, we assume, to showcase his skills because the salary cap is allegedly going to balloon next year (I don’t think it is, but that’s skepticism for another day–probably one in August when absolutely nothing is going on in the basketball world).
So the question is, how’s he going to showcase his skills when he’s backing up Lonzo Ball? And if he’s not backing up Lonzo Ball, that means Lonzo Ball is backing him up, and how much chaos is that going to cause in Laker-ville? And how badly do the Lakers need two PGs that can’t shoot?
Yes, Magic and Danny Ainge are roughly the same age, and they both hold the keys to marquee franchises–and they’ve both made a splash with free agent signings.
But that’s where the similarities stop. Danny has been doing this job for a long time–fifteen years–Magic just started.
So yeah, congrats on landing LeBron right as he’s poised to really embrace the Norma Desmond phase of his career. But the rest of these moves? It’s a guy who seems to have learned how to be a GM by playing the NBA 2K series.
Yes, the Lakers got at least a three year commitment out of LeBron, but there are some stark realities that need to be balanced against that: The clock is legitimately ticking on LeBron’s career. He was gassed in the playoffs this year, after playing 40+ minutes a game during the regular season in an effort to lead a team that was, at least at first glance, about as talented and deep as this Lakers team, stumbling into the third seed in the Eastern Conference.
Then there’s the lack of three-point shooting. Apart from KCP and Kuzma, there’s not much to speak of–and the addition of Rondo, Stephenson and JaVale McGee is hardly calculated to improve that area.
And forget about the potential chemistry issues here. You’ve got an extremely young head coach–one who’s younger than Brad Stevens, and with far less coaching experience. This guy is going to be asked to manage Rajon Rondo (who still hasn’t realized how much damage his personality has done to his career), Lance Stephenson (who, ibid), JaVale McGee, LeBron James and Lonzo Ball’s dad.
Walton is barely four years older than LeBron, and if LeBron had no issues ignoring Ty Lue–another ex-player who jumped into a head coaching slot after a cup of coffee as an assistant for a successful team–ask yourself what an older LeBron James is going to respect about an even younger Luke Walton.
Sure, the Lakers could make a play for Kawhi Leonard next season, but this season is shaping up to be a mess, and if Kawhi Leonard is a guy who would sign with the Lakers regardless of how crazy this season is, then, well, he’s not made out of the stuff that wins championships.
Page 2: Where another ex-Celtics guard signs with another Los Angeles team
The Clippers wanted to flip Bradley again at the deadline, but teams were concerned about his upcoming free agency and about the medical reports that indicated the groin injury, which eventually ended his season, was too serious.
Bradley now rejoins a Clippers squad that is overflowing with guards, including Patrick Beverley, Milos Teodosic, Lou Williams, Jawun Evans and 2018 first-round picks Jerome Robinson and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. L.A. recently traded combo guard Austin Rivers to the Washington Wizards for center Marcin Gortat.
I’ll just say this right now: There’s a pretty strong chance that if the Celtics hadn’t hired Ainge in 2003, I’d have become, by now, about as much of a Celtics fan as I am a White Sox fan.
While everyone is talking about where talented players are at in the league, and arguing about whether Jordan is better than James (the correct answer is: “who cares, Russell is the greatest.”), the real story is in the front offices. Take the Clippers, for example: They were shopping Avery Bradley at the deadline, couldn’t trade him because of his injuries, so they signed him to a two-year deal. Despite already having a ton of guards. Why? What’s the strategy here? Or is this just mindless roster filling in an effort to field a basketball team of some sort next season?
Finally: Robert Williams makes it to practice!
One day after missing the Celtics’ first summer league practice, the Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach was told that Williams made it to Monday’s summer league session.
Williams finally reporting to summer league practice comes after a couple of gaffes.
The morning after the former Texas A&M player was drafted 27th overall, he overslept for a media conference call. But far more seriously, Williams missed his flight ahead of Sunday’s opening session.
On court dad Al Horford & sideline dad Brad Stevens aren’t upset, they’re just disappointed.
The rest of the links:
MassLive: Boston Celtics make Brad Wanamaker signing official | Boston Celtics rumors 2018: DeMarcus Cousins had narrowed choices to Golden State Warriors, Celtics (this is not as big a deal as it seems–that injury is brutal and recovery can take over a year–Cousins may end up being more of a large cheerleader than anything resembling the center he was in Sacramento and New Orleans)
Boston Herald: Danny Ainge moves on from Robert Williams’ mistake