Though Enticing, Rajon Rondo of Today an Investment Lakers Lucky Not to Make

LOS ANGELES — You only get so many chances to deviate from the pure rebuild in today's NBA.

If you—rightly—want a proven commodity to make you a vastly better team overnight, you—definitely—better be honest with yourself about what that veteran can't and won't do amid your excitement with the chase.

In the case of the Los Angeles Lakers and Rajon Rondo, who would've been an obvious upgrade when Byron Scott is resorting to wedging Kobe Bryant into the point position late in games, it's a very real question whether a poor-shooting guard could have been more than a championship role player.

The catchy ring to Rondo's name, let's be clear, was delivered more by Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

Lakers fans are understandably eager for their franchise to make a move for immediate talent, but patience is necessary since the league's playing field was so leveled with the last collective bargaining agreement. Rondo, who was traded to Dallas on Thursday after the Lakers' offer for the Celtics point guard was declined, is simply ill-suited to be a franchise cornerstone…and even a risky investment for a Dallas team that views him as its final piece.

The lure for L.A. was clear because the pure rebuild—with its draft picks, years of waiting, lack of star power and impressionable/immature/idiotic kids—stinks.

No one actually wants to rebuild that way. Franchises often have no choice but to invest in the future and hope some kid actually becomes their man.

Yet the working premise is always the same: Better to get someone who is ready to play a man's game than someone who has to grow physically and mentally just for a chance. (Latest example: the Cleveland Cavaliers trading all that youthful upside for Kevin Love.)

Even the Celtics, who've spent years gathering draft picks as if they're magnetically drawn to Da...

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