The Cleveland Cavaliers are approaching a deal to acquire Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo, and a deal is expected to be finalized as soon as Friday, sources told ESPN.
The parties are in the process of finding a deal, but the Cavaliers need to create a roster to make room for Rondo. Cavaliers could include a minimum contract player in the deal with Los Angeles, or waive a player and complete the deal using another round or cash.
The Cavaliers also have a trade exemption that could absorb Rondo’s salary of $ 2.6 million.
The Lakers do not have to take matching pay back in the deal because Rondo is on a minimum contract and could take back a non-guaranteed deal that they could waive. The deal is expected to open up a list spot for the Lakers.
Rondo has been on COVID-19 records since Sunday and needs 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 to a torn ACL in his left knee. Cleveland, 20-14 and in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, has been one of the NBA’s most improved teams.
Rubio played a huge role in the Cavaliers’ success this season, and although Rondo has not played close to that level, the Cavaliers hope he can contribute as a playmaker on a resurgent team. The Cavaliers also lost point guard Collin Sexton to a knee injury that ended the season.
Rondo, 35, averages 3.1 points and 3.7 assists in 16 minutes per game for the Lakers this season. This is Rondo’s 16 NBA season, which includes two championships and four All-Star appearances.