The Los Angeles Clippers have set their sight on veteran guard Rajon Rondo as possible replacement to former playmaker Chris Paul. Doc Rivers, who mentored the mercurial guard during their time with the Boston Celtics, is reportedly a proponent of a reunion with Rondo.

Rondo’s journey

Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders reported Rondo has interest to play with the Clippers in the wake of Paul’s decision to bolt from L.A and play alongside James Harden in Houston.

Rondo is coming off an up-and-down year with the Bulls, averaging 7.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.4 steals in 69 games (49 starts).

After getting benched for several games, Rondo turned things around with strong play late in the season. In the playoffs, the former All-Star played a huge factor in the Bulls’ surprising 2-0 lead over the top-seeded Boston Celtics in their Eastern Conference first round series.

Rondo averaged 11.5 points, 10.0 assists, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals between Game 1 and 2 before missing the remainder of the series with a thumb injury.

Rondo initially got an assurance from Gar Forman and John Paxson that the second year of his partially guaranteed deal (only $3 million of $13.4 million was guaranteed) will be picked up, but the Bulls management’s decision to start a full rebuild (starting off with the Jimmy Butler trade to Minnesota) made his release a foregone conclusion. On the day before the free agency season, the Bulls eventually released Rondo and took a $3 million cap hit.

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Re-energizing career with Clippers

Rondo is no longer an elite defender at the point guard spot, yet he can still play outstanding defense if motivated. Moreover, the former All-Star is still a productive playmaker at 6.7 dimes per game. The Clippers are currently without a starting point guard , and many NBA insiders think a Rivers-Rondo reunion is healthy for both careers.

Nobody knows how to bring the best from Rondo than Rivers, who turned the former Kentucky standout into an elite PG in Boston.

Despite losing Paul, the Clippers were able to fortify their lineup by getting a verbal commitment from borderline All-Star Danilo Gallinari. According to ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, a three-team trade is in the works between the Clippers and the Nuggets with the Hawks acting as a conduit party.

With a frontline of Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Gallinari in place, the Clippers view Rondo as a perfect playmaker for these players.

Rondo proved during his tenure with the Celtics that he’s best suited with a team filled with shooters and athletes running towards the rim. The Clippers cannot afford to give Rondo an eight-figure paycheck, they can still offer him a competitive package by using their taxpayer mid-level exception ($3.5 million).

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