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Report: Lakers trading Rajon Rondo to Cavaliers for Denzel Valentine

Rajon Rondo, who's getting traded from the Lakers to the Cavaliers

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 12: Rajon Rondo #4 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles the ball during a preseason game against the Golden State Warriors on October 12, 2021 at STAPLES Center 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

No Ricky Rubio. No Collin Sexton.

The Cavaliers are so desperate for a point guard to play behind (and, ideally, sometimes with) Darius Garland, they’re trading for someone who apparently has negative value on a minimum contract.

Cleveland – as expected – will trade for the Lakers’ Rajon Rondo, sending Denzel Valentine to Los Angeles.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Unless there’s another unreported element to this deal, it shows the Lakers couldn’t outright dump Rondo in a trade and completely clear his salary from their books. They have to take back Valentine’s unwanted money. If waiving Valentine today, Los Angeles will incur a $847,072 cap hit that’ll count against the luxury tax.

Still, that’s better than waiving Rondo (or another minimum-salary player) and taking a $1,669,178 cap hit.

Rondo theoretically fits the rough contours of a Rubio replacement in Cleveland – savvy veteran, good passer, improved 3-point shooting from poor to streaky, solid defensive reputation. But Rondo’s engagement on defense, where Rubio really helped the Cavs this year, has not been strong in years. Rondo’s scoring has devolved further at age 35.

There are reasons the Lakers are trading him for this return.

Stanley Johnson has helped the Lakers as a replacement player. With an open roster spot, they could sign him for the rest of the season.