Despite Kobe’s Support of Rajon Rondo, Lakers Uncertain About Mercurial Star

LOS ANGELES — If you've arrived at the completely logical party, hosted by the estimable Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, that Rajon Rondo shall not be welcome on your team under any circumstances at any price tag, it's probably for the best.

Lakers co-owner Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak, however, are not there.

So there remains a distinct possibility in today's pace-and-space NBA that the Los Angeles Lakers will be the torchbearers for the old school and sign the pass-first (nay, pass-only) Rondo to a free-agent contract this summer.

But what should be made clear, according to team sources, is that Buss is not the believer he was earlier in the season when it comes to Rondo, and Kupchak is toting enough healthy skepticism that he sees Rondo as value only at a certain low price.

Thus no one should expect the Lakers to recycle those old "STAY" billboards for Dwight Howard, flipping them over to be barefaced welcome mats for Rondo this offseason, no matter how much he wants to come.

The Lakers have higher priorities when it comes to spending their precious 2015 salary-cap space. They are hopeful of buying a foundational piece—something they aren't convinced Rondo is.

The notion that the Lakers were going to be the ones to sign Rondo to a maximum contract has been put forth and perpetuated mostly by people on his side, not the Lakers'. Now that Rondo's season is over due to an indeterminate back injury and indubitable productivity famine, it's time to begin projecting his next stop.

Will it be the Lakers? Even they have little idea, because they don't know what better players they can attract with their free-agent offers. The Lakers will have perhaps $22 million to spend this summer—and they're somewhat torn internally how much a newly motivated Rondo, 29, might push the franchise forward.

What can be said is th...

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