Cleveland Cavaliers close to trade for Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo, sources say

The Cleveland Cavaliers are closing in on a trade to acquire Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo and a deal is expected to be completed on Friday, sources told ESPN.

The sides are working on terms of a deal, but the Cavaliers need to create a spot on the roster to make room for Rondo. The Cavaliers could include a player with a minimum contract in the Los Angeles deal, or forfeit a player and complete the trade with a second-round pick or cash.

The Cavaliers also have a business exception that can absorb Rondo’s $ 2.6 million salary.

The Lakers don’t have to recoup the equivalent salary in the deal because Rondo has a minimum contract and could withdraw an unsecured deal that they could forfeit. The trade is expected to open a spot on the roster for the Lakers.

Rondo has been on COVID-19 protocols since Sunday and will need to be cleared before joining the Cavaliers.

Cleveland is moving fast to find a veteran playmaker to help replace Ricky Rubio, who was lost for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee. Cleveland, 20-14 and fifth in the Eastern Conference, has been one of the most improved teams in the NBA.

Rubio played a huge role in the Cavaliers’ success this season, and while Rondo hasn’t played anywhere near that level, the Cavaliers hope he can contribute as a playmaker to a resurgent team. The Cavaliers also lost point guard Collin Sexton to a season-ending knee injury.

The 35-year-old Rondo is averaging 3.1 points and 3.7 assists in 16 minutes per game for the Lakers this season. This is Rondo’s 16th NBA season, which includes two championships and four All-Star appearances.

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