Lakers Rumors: Rajon Rondo Is Just What Doctor Ordered for Mediocre Lakers

Eric BallFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17:  Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics looks looks to move the ball as he is guarded by Jordan Farmar #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Finally the LA Lakers might catch a break in this odd, lockout-shortened season.

They may have been dissed by Dwight Howard and denied from Chris Paul, but how about Rajon Rondo?

Mike Trudell of recently interviewed GM Mitch Kupchak about making a move to bolster a horrific backcourt and the response was very interesting:

Well, if there were a way for us to get a 25-year-old, All-Star, ball-handling guard we'd love to do it … but that's not likely in February. So you look at other alternatives, and see if it's better than what you have. That's all.

Considering Trudell didn’t say a word about Rondo and Kupchak brought it up on his own, I’d say there is an underlying context to his response that is worth getting excited about if you’re a Lakers fan. There isn’t another player in the league that fits this description (note: Kupchak’s comments were made before his being snubbed from the All-Star team).

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 20:  Pau Gasol #16 and Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrate as Bynum comes to the bench while taking on the New Orleans Hornets in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 2
Harry How/Getty Images

They’d obviously have to get rid of Pau Gasol or possibly Andrew Bynum and one of their first-round picks, but that’s a small price to pay for a star in the making that can become a cornerstone of the franchise for the next decade.

It’s no secret Rondo would instantly bolster a Lakers backcourt that is thrilled to have freakin’ Steve Blake come back from a rib injury. Derek Fisher, 37, has lost more than just a step and his body is simply not capable of the wear-and-tear of a grueling NBA season, especially with the lockout shortened schedule.  

The point guard for the Lakers, whether it be Fisher, Blake or Andrew Goudelock, are struggling to beat their man off the dribble to create open looks for others. That leaves Kobe Bryant on the perimeter having to jack up 24 mostly contested shots a night.

Coach Mike Brown was used to this kind of offense during his tenure with the Cavaliers, but this isn’t Lakers basketball. This isn’t how you win a championship. They need a guy with a lighting-first step like Rondo to set up the rest of his teammates that can’t create their own shots like Metta World-Peace, Matt Barnes and Gasol/Bynum.

Most importantly, it will take some of the stress off Kobe every night. Right now he has strapped the team on his back and if Bryant keeps up this incredible pace, his back will eventually be broken.

The Lakers are a strong point guard away from becoming a serious contender and it will be very interesting to see if they can pull the trigger by the deadline.

It could be the difference between a first-round flameout and a championship.