After re-signing with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2019 NBA free agency, Rajon Rondo has had an up-and-down second season as their second playmaker.
However, in perhaps the best win of the 2019-20 NBA season so far, Rondo’s near triple-double (21 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists) led the Lakers past the Oklahoma City Thunder without LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Unfortunately, Rondo strained his finger in the fourth quarter against the Thunder and while X-rays returned negative, an MRI later revealed a fracture.
While Rondo did not play against the Cleveland Cavaliers, he reportedly is expected to be out 4-5 days, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
Rondo suffered a nondisplaced volar plate avulsion fracture to his right ring finger in Saturday’s victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. X-rays at the arena came back negative, but a MRI on Monday revealed the fracture. Rondo is expected to be out four to five days, a league source told ESPN.
As Rondo is listed as day-to-day now, it is important to note he injured his finger on the same hand that required two surgeries in his first season:
Rondo strained the fourth finger on his right hand in the first half — the same hand on which he had two surgeries last season — and required X-rays after the game that came back negative.
Although the 33-year-old has not been consistent, he does address a need as a playmaker with or without LeBron James. In addition, James, Anthony Davis, and head coach Frank Vogel all appreciate what he brings to the team.
While the expectations are Rondo will return in a week, it does emphasize the need to add another playmaker. Despite being the best team in the Western Conference by 5.5 games right now, there are still areas for improvement.
Since the Lakers have limited trade assets, the easiest path is Darren Collison or the buyout market. While it is unclear who will be bought out by March 1, Collison is considering a return after shockingly retiring prior to free agency.
Nearing the midway point of the season, the Lakers are true championship contenders and Kobe Bryant believes they need to invest in health now to realistically accomplish their ultimate goal of winning the 2020 NBA Finals.