Kobe Bryant said he’d recruit Rajon Rondo until the point guard signed somewhere.
With reports that Rondo will likely leave the Mavericks as a free agent this summer, Kobe’s pursuit could matter more than ever.
How does Rondo, who says he’s open to staying with Dallas, feel about it?
Rondo, via Baxter Holmes of ESPN:
“He’s one of the best that’s ever played our game,” Rondo said. “When he speaks, it speaks volumes. It’s an honor and a compliment that he’d want to play with a guy like me. But right now I’m focused on winning a championship with the Dallas Mavericks.”
Rondo was asked if he’d want to play with Bryant — and he didn’t deny it.
“I’m focused on what I have to do right now,” Rondo said. “It’s impossible to play with Kobe right now.”
But the Lakers ought to be careful about appeasing Kobe here, especially if Rondo requires a max contract. On paper, Kobe and Rondo appear like a bad fit together. Rondo’s inability to adapt in Dallas should intensify those concerns.
It’s increasingly likely Rondo, 29, won’t receive a max offer next summer. That gives the Lakers – or any team – power to go over the top financially. If the Lakers present Rondo’s only max offer and Kobe continues his recruitment, would Rondo turn that down?
Kobe is putting the Lakers in good position to land Rondo. The key question is whether that’s actually good for the Lakers.