Rajon Rondo may be taking the Andre Iguodala path as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Prior to the 2019-20 season, after being sent to Memphis in order for the Golden State Warriors to acquire D’Angelo Russell, Iguodala came to an agreement with the Grizzlies’ organization. The veteran would not join the team, and sit out the beginning of the season until the front office found him a suitable trade destination. They eventually did, sending him to the Miami Heat at the trade deadline. Iguodala helped the Heat to a Finals run in the Bubble, and Memphis was able to get (at the time) a young wing with some upside in Justise Winslow.
Rondo will not net the Grizzlies the same level of return. Iguodala was considered a positive asset who fell in the Grizzlies’ lap purely because the Warriors were desperate. Rondo, on the other hand, proved ineffective as a playoff performer last season for the Clippers.
Even so, Drew Hill, Grizzlies beat writer for the Daily Memphian, recently reported that Rondo is not likely to play for Memphis, at least on opening night.
“Will Rajon Rondo be part of the team at the season’s beginning?” Hill wrote. “Probably not.”
It is unclear if Rondo is holding out until a contender shows interest in him as a veteran presence.
If Rondo is indeed out against the Cleveland Cavaliers for their home opener, it stands to reason that he would not travel to LA to face the Clippers three days later.
Rondo might have to face reality and realize a contending team will not come knocking for him. Beyond his poor play last postseason (a -6.4 net rating for him in 13 playoff games with the Clippers), he’s owed $7.5 million, with his true value probably no higher than the veteran’s minimum. He could also rehabilitate his value if he decides to play for the Grizzlies, who are by no means a tanking team. They made the postseason as a no. 9 seed last year, and if Ja Morant makes a third-year leap, there’s no reason they couldn’t make some noise in the playoffs this season.
The Clippers will play the Grizzlies for their home opener on Saturday, October 23, at 7:30 p.m.