Rajon Rondo just helped Los Angeles win a championship.
Will he do it again?
That’s what the Clippers are hoping after trading Lou Williams to the Hawks for Rondo, who won a title with the Lakers last year.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
I’d rather have Williams than Rondo for the rest of this season. Not only do the Clippers disagree… They’re sending picks! And cash! And taking Rondo’s $7.5 million salary for next season!
Rondo has consistently stepped up in the playoffs, including just last year. But he’s now 35 and having the worst season of his career. Banking on Playoff Rondo is increasingly difficult, even knowing he has repeatedly defied the odds before.
Though the Clippers could use a point guard with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, Rondo helps only if he plays well. L.A. also opens a hole for second-unit scorer with Williams departing.
Williams will fill that role in Atlanta. The Hawks have scored just 101.5 points per 100 possessions without Trae Young this season. (A key reason Atlanta has faltered when Young sits? Rondo.)
Merely getting off Rondo’s contract is a victory for Atlanta. Williams is on expiring deal.
Three years ago, Williams signed a surprisingly cheap contract extension because he valued staying with with the Clippers. Now, with Williams in the final year of that extension, they’re trading him.
But L.A.’s roster and chemistry have changed significantly since. Williams is also returning to his home state of Georgia. As we all know, Williams enjoys the lemon pepper wings at Atlanta’s Magic City. He might consider this the Clippers doing right by him.
Rondo definitely comes out ahead. He’s now far more likely to get his $750,000 bonus for his team making the playoffs. He’s also back in the championship chase, where he’s right at home.