The Los Angeles Lakers are 7-1 and they’ve done this without Rajon Rondo, who head coach Frank Vogel and company believe is a key piece of their rotation.
Rondo did not have any injury listed until the final 2019 NBA preseason game when he was considered out for rest. As it turns out, Rondo had a mild calf strain that had now kept him out of eight straight games to begin the 2019-20 NBA season.
The Lakers view Rondo as someone who could play 25-30 minutes per game if all goes well, so they have to feel pretty good about where they are without him.
Now, it seems that Rondo may be ready to make his return to the Lakers and it could be when they take on the defending champion Toronto Raptors, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
Los Angeles Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo is aiming to make his season debut Sunday against the Toronto Raptors, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
This is not a set in stone report as Rondo will go through a final workout before making a decision:
The 13-year veteran is expected to go through a final workout at the team’s practice facility on Saturday in preparation for his return, sources said.
Rondo’s return brings both good and bad news for the team.
The good news is that Rondo fills one of the team’s most immediate needs and that’s having someone to dribble the ball and make plays when LeBron James is off the court. Last season, Rondo was at his best when James was off the court and he was at his worst when James was on with him, so that will be something Vogel needs to watch for.
The bad news is that the Lakers will lose some of the suffocating defensive energy they’ve debuted this season. Replacing Cook with Rondo doesn’t do much but if he begins eating into Bradley or Caruso’s minutes, it could spell trouble on that end of the floor.
Vogel and the Lakers appear to have a solid rotation built and if they believe they can slip Rondo in without issues, then that will reflect itself on the court.
However, they’ll have to be careful not to mess with the things that have gotten them seven straight wins.