Rajon Rondo trade grades: Lakers clear roster spot in reported trade with the Cavaliers

By | December 31, 2021

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired Rajon Rondo.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers have agreed to send Rondo to the Cavs in exchange for Denzel Valentine.

Los Angeles is expected to waive Valentine’s partially-guaranteed deal to create an extra roster spot.

The Cavs were in the market for a new point guard once Ricky Rubio was ruled out of the season with a torn ACL in his left knee on Tuesday. 

Rondo, who was looking for a bigger role will now assume most of the minutes left behind by Rubio.

Rondo is in his 16th season, averaging 3.1 points, 3.7 assists in 18 appearances for the Lakers. Rondo is currently in the league’s health and safety protocols.

Trade Grades


This was a move out of necessity for the Cavs, who were in desperate need of guard help after Rubio’s season-ending injury. In addition to Rubio, Cleveland is already without Collin Sexton, who is out for the season with a torn meniscus and the move comes while Darius Garland is in the health and safety protocols.

Bringing in Rondo addresses the need for playmaking and adds a veteran presence to a young locker room of a team that has real aspirations to make noise in the postseason.

As good as the Rondo addition is in theory, he’s not necessarily the player he once was — he’s in his 16th season, will be 36 in February and his averages don’t necessarily jump off the page. Rondo will provide invaluable leadership and tutelage to Garland and once the playoffs come, is still capable of making big plays as he did during the Lakers’ title run in 2020.

Grade: B


Not much to see here for LA, which just frees up a roster spot with the move.

The Lakers could make something happen with their free roster spot as they search for answers to turn around a largely disappointing season. They could sign a player like Stanley Johnson to a standard NBA contract or take back more players if general manager Rob Pelinka has a bigger move up his sleeve.

Seeing how it doesn’t move the needle much, either way, there’s not too much to write home about just yet.

Grade: C+

— Gilbert McGregor (@GMcGregor21)