Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James agreed to a four-year deal worth $154 million Sunday with the Lakers, just hours after the NBA free agency period began.
Four-time All-Star Rondo, a 32-year-old point guard, who has made stops in Boston, Dallas, Sacramento and Chicago, averaged 8.3 points, 8.2 assists and 4.0 rebounds a game last season for New Orleans.
ESPN, Sports Illustrated, The Los Angeles Times and New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Rondo will sign a one-year deal with the Lakers for $9 million after releasing forward Julius Randle to free up space under the NBA salary cap.
Players cannot sign contracts with teams until Friday under NBA free agency rules.
Lakers legend Kobe Bryant said he personally welcomed James to the organization on Sunday.
“I told him, ‘Welcome to the family, man.’ It sounds crazy but I said, ‘Dude you are part of the family now. So anything you need on my end, I got you,'” Bryant said. “Now it is somebody else’s time. And that is what the Lakers have always been about.”
Even as an iconic 10-story banner of James is about to be removed from a Cleveland building, the Lakers began filling out the roster for next season, agreeing to one-year deals with swingman Lance Stephenson, guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and center JaVale McGee.
The Lakers were reportedly targeting New Orleans free agent center DeMarcus Cousins but he is now expected to sign with the defending champion Golden State Warriors. (AFP)