After saying goodbye to the Los Angeles Lakers in an Instagram post earlier in the day, guard Rajon Rondo agreed to a two-year, $15 million contract with the Atlanta Hawks, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Saturday.
The Hawks are determined to get better defensively in the backcourt rotation, bringing in Rondo, who will be entering his 15th season in the league, and Kris Dunn on two-year deals.
Earlier in the day, Rondo, who had a $2.6 million player option for the 2020-21 season, thanked the entire Lakers organization for a two-year run capped by an NBA title last season while also openly wondering “what’s next” for a 15th NBA season.
That question was soon answered.
Rondo, who turns 35 in February, averaged 8.9 points, 6.6 assists and 4.3 rebounds off the bench in 16 postseason games — including a 19-point effort in Game 6 of the NBA Finals as the Lakers beat the Miami Heat to win the NBA championship. In 48 regular-season games, he averaged 7.1 points and 5.0 assists per game.
Since entering the league in 2006 as the 21st overall pick of the Boston Celtics, Rondo has played for six teams. In addition to the Celtics, he has played for Dallas, Sacramento, Chicago, New Orleans and the Lakers.
But there are reasons contending teams continue to pursue him: veteran leadership and championship pedigree.
Both were on display during the Lakers’ title run in Orlando, Florida.
“Playoff Rondo” improved his stats across the board from the regular season to the postseason, from points (7.1 to 8.9) to field goal percentage (42% to 46%) to PER (12.4 to 16.8). And the four-time All-Star continued to run the point effectively with 105 assists in the playoffs, all off the bench, the most in a single postseason since starters were first tracked in 1970-71, per Elias Sports Bureau research.
Overall, he has 1,086 career playoff assists, the sixth most in NBA history behind Magic Johnson, LeBron James, John Stockton, Jason Kidd and Tony Parker. And his 7,215 career assists rank 15th in league history.
The Lakers on Friday added the reigning Sixth Man of the Year to their upcoming title defense by agreeing to terms with free-agent big man Montrezl Harrell, who spent the past three seasons with the LA Clippers.