Rajon Rondo Rumors: NY Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers Free Agent Targets With Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings Over Dallas Mavericks Return?

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Jun 17, 2015 12:37 PM EDT
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Rajon Rondo #9 of the Dallas Mavericks goes to the basket against the Los Angeles Lakers
Rajon Rondo #9 of the Dallas Mavericks goes to the basket against the Los Angeles Lakers on April 12, 2015 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. "

Rajon Rondo is one of the top point guards on the free agent market this year and teams like the LA Lakers, NY Knicks, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers could be interested in signing Rondo in free agency, as he is not expected to return to the Dallas Mavericks after his trade this season from the Boston Celtics.

Rondo is one of the most talented point guards in the league, but he has lost a step since coming back from surgery and he had a tough run in Dallas. Rondo did not get along with the coaching staff and he had multiple blow ups with head coach Rick Carlisle. Rondo did not end up getting a playoff share with the Mavericks and overall his numbers were down with the team. While all that does not bode well for someone coming into free agency, there are motivated teams on the market and they could pay up for someone like Rondo.

The point guard likely will not be getting a max contract this year and while that was once a possibility, it is looking very unlikely moving forward. But that doesn't mean a team won't overpay for Rondo and with the salary cap expected to rise in the coming years, someone could jump in and wow Rondo with an offer. According to Pro Basketball Talk, the most likely landing spots for Rondo are Los Angeles, New York and Houston, while the Kings are also expected to pursue Rondo.

According to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, the Kings are a "darkhorse" landing spot for Rondo, as the team has been interested in the point guard in the past and with DeMarcus Cousins likely staying long term, the team could try and build through free agency. The Kings previously considered trading for Rondo at the trading deadline and the team also wants a "bona fide point guard" with Darren Collins coming back from an injury.

Rondo would provide a veteran presence with the emerging Cousins and that could give the Kings some hope moving forward as they try and rebuild. Washburn writes that Rondo has a relationship with Rudy Gay and that also could be a factor if the Kings come calling. While Rondo may not be the championship point guard he once was in Boston, he still is a very skilled player and an above average defender. Rondo's numbers have dipped, but part of that has had to do with injuries and playing in a new system in Dallas.

Rondo came back and played 30 games in 2013 following his injury and he was very good, averaging nearly 10 assists per game with 11 points for the Celtics. This past season Rondo dipped down to 8.9 points and 7.9 assists per game in 68 games with the Celtics and Mavericks and moving forward he will be expected to bounce back. Rondo is still just 29 years old and a team like the Lakers could look at him as an option to play ahead of emerging star Jordan Clarkson. The Rockets have long been interested in Rondo and they almost traded for him at the deadline the past two years and could target him if they lose Patrick Beverley as a restricted free agent. 

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