The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired Rajon Rondo.

The Lakers announced that they have traded Rondo to the Cavs in a three-team deal that sends Denzel Valentine to the Knicks.

The Cavs were in the market for a new point guard once Ricky Rubio was ruled out of the season with a torn ACL in his left knee on Dec. 28. Rondo, who was looking for a bigger role, will likely assume most of the minutes left behind by Rubio.

Rondo is in his 16th season, averaging 3.1 points and 3.7 assists in 18 appearances for the Lakers.

Trade Grades


This was a move out of necessity for the Cavs, who were in desperate need of guard help after Rubio’s season-ending injury. In addition to Rubio, Cleveland is already without Collin Sexton, who is out for the season with a torn meniscus, and the move comes while Darius Garland is in the health and safety protocols.

Bringing in Rondo addresses the need for playmaking and adds a veteran presence to a young locker room of a team that has real aspirations to make noise in the postseason.

As good as the Rondo addition is in theory, he’s not necessarily the player he once was — he’s in his 16th season, will be 36 in February and his averages don’t necessarily jump off the page. Rondo will provide invaluable leadership and tutelage to Garland and, once the playoffs come, is still capable of making big plays as he did during the Lakers’ title run in 2020.

Grade: B


Not much to see here for LA, which frees up a roster spot and reportedly saves approximately $4 million with the move.

The Lakers could make something happen with their free roster spot as they search for answers to turn around a largely disappointing season. They could sign a player like Stanley Johnson to a standard NBA contract or take back more players if general manager Rob Pelinka has a bigger move up his sleeve.

Seeing how it doesn’t move the needle much, either way, there’s not too much to write home about just yet.

Grade: C+


The Knicks’ acquisition of Valentine comes at a time in which the team is low on numbers due to injury and players in the health and safety protocols. The team made a corresponding move of waiving Wayne Selden, which would indicate that Valentine will remain on the roster.

Valentine is a former lottery pick but his best season came in 2017-18 when he averaged 10.2 points per game for the Bulls. In 22 games this season, he’s averaging 2.9 points in under 10 minutes per game.

He adds depth to New York’s roster and perhaps can carve a role with the team, but ultimately, the move isn’t much of a needle-mover.

Grade: C

— Gilbert McGregor (@GMcGregor21)