10 players the Rockets can add through trade exceptions

Mo Bamba #5 of the Orlando Magic (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Mo Bamba #5 of the Orlando Magic (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Rajon Rondo #7 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Houston Rockets trade target #10: Rajon Rondo

Although Rajon Rondo is no longer the All-NBA version of himself, he remains one of the more cerebral players in the league, which is a skillset that only becomes more enhanced with more time. Rondo recently won a title with the Los Angeles Lakers and was one of their most valuable role players during the 2020 postseason.

Rondo averaged 8.9 points, 6.6 assists, and 4.3 rebounds on just 24.7 minutes per night during the playoffs, and that’s just the half of it. What was more impressive was how Rondo made 40 percent of his threes, which was second-best on the Lakers among players with at least two attempts per game (Rondo averaged 3.1 attempts).

Rondo gashed the Rockets during the Western Conference Semifinals round, averaging 10.6 points, 7 assists, 4.6 rebounds, and 2 steals, while leading the Lakers in 3-point shooting, with a clip of 44.4 percent. At the end of the season Rondo signed a two-year deal with the Atlanta Hawks worth $15 million, paying him $7.5 million, which fits within the James Harden exception and would leave the Rockets with the ability to add another player with the remaining $3.2 million.

The Rockets are in dire need of another ballhandler and playmaker, which is evident whenever John Wall is forced to sit, due to rest and/or recovery. Rondo was brought in to the Atlanta Hawks because of his veteran presence, after having won two titles during his 15-year NBA career. But the pairing hasn’t exactly worked out on the court, as Rondo is playing a career-worst 15 minutes per night and his shooting has taken a major tumble, as he’s posted career lows in field goal percentage, true shooting percentage, and effective field goal percentage.

Rondo would be better suited on a team that is trying to contend, like the Rockets, and the Hawks would be motivated to get off of his salary, as his contract and his presence haven’t become beneficial, which will especially be the case next season.

Next: No. 9