Rajon Rondo Expected to Make Clippers Debut vs. Lakers, Tyronn Lue Says

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2021

Atlanta Hawks guard Rajon Rondo (7) sets up a play during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic, Wednesday, March 3, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue said Saturday that veteran point guard Rajon Rondo is "on schedule" to make his Clippers debut Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers, according to ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk.

The 35-year-old Rondo has not played since March 22 because of an adductor injury. Since then, the Clippers acquired him from the Atlanta Hawks in a trade that sent guard Lou Williams and two second-round picks to Atlanta.

If Rondo does play Sunday, he will be competing against a Lakers team he helped guide to an NBA championship last season.

Rondo is a four-time All-Star, four-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection and three-time NBA assist champion, but he has been more of a role player in recent years.

In 27 games with the Hawks this season, primarily as the backup to Trae Young, Rondo averaged a career-low 3.9 points, 3.5 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 14.9 minutes per contest.

Last season, Rondo appeared in 48 games for the Lakers and averaged 7.1 points, 5.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds before putting up 8.9 points, 6.6 assists and 4.3 boards per game during L.A.'s playoff run.

For his career, Rondo owns averages of 10.0 points, 8.1 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 900 regular-season games and has won two championships, which is likely the primary reason why the Clippers acquired him.

Youngmisuk noted that Lue said he does not expect Patrick Beverley to play Sunday, meaning Rondo could get plenty of run in his absence.

Reggie Jackson has been starting at point guard for the Clippers, and that figures to be the case again Sunday, but with no other true point guard on the roster besides Beverley, Rondo could be a key piece against his former team.

Sunday's game will be a significant one as the 32-18 Clippers are just a half-game ahead of the 31-18 Lakers for third place in the Western Conference.

The Lakers will once again be without their top two players in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but they have still managed to win three of their past four games with Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell and Kyle Kuzma leading the way.