Sources told ESPN that the Cleveland Cavaliers are close to a deal to acquire Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo and the deal is expected to be completed on Friday.
Both sides are working on the terms of a deal, but the Cavaliers need to create a place on the roster to make room for Rondo. The Cavaliers can include a player with a minimum contract in their Los Angeles deal, or forfeit a player and complete the deal with a second-round pick or cash.
The Lakers do not have to redeem an equivalent salary in the deal because Rondo has a minimum contract and can win a non-guaranteed deal that can be waived. The deal is expected to open a place on the Lakers roster.
Rondo has been working on COVID protocols since Sunday and will need to remove them before joining the Cavaliers.
Cleveland is moving quickly to find a veteran guard to replace Ricky Rubio and help replace him, who will miss the rest of the season due to a ruptured ACL in his left knee. Cleveland has been one of the most advanced teams in the NBA this season: 20-14 and fifth in the East.
Rubio has been a large part of the Cavaliers’ success this season, and while Rondo hasn’t played anywhere near that level, the Cavaliers are hoping to contribute as a playmaker to the rising Cavaliers side. Cavaliers also lost guard Colin Sexton to a knee injury.
Rondo, 35, has averaged 3.1 points and 3.7 assists in 16 minutes per game for the Lakers this season. This is the 16th season of the NBA, which includes two championships and four All-Star games.