Cavaliers Cavs, close to a trade with Lakers for Rajon Rondo

The Cleveland Cavaliers are closing in on a trade to acquire Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo and a deal is expected to be completed on Friday, sources told ESPN.

Both sides are working on terms of a deal, but the Cavaliers need to create a spot on the roster to make room for Rondo. The Cavaliers could include a player with a minimum contract in the Los Angeles deal, or forfeit a player and complete the trade with a second-round pick or cash.

The Lakers don’t have to recoup an equivalent salary in the deal because Rondo has a minimum contract and could win back an unsecured deal that they could forfeit. The deal is expected to open a spot on the roster for the Lakers.

Rondo has been on COVID protocols since Sunday and will need to clear them before joining the Cavaliers.

Cleveland is moving quickly to find a veteran point guard to replace and help replace Ricky Rubio, who will miss the remainder of the season due to a torn ACL in his left knee. Cleveland has been one of the most improved teams in the NBA this season: 20-14 and fifth in the East.

Rubio had a huge part of the Cavaliers’ success this season, and while Rondo hasn’t played anywhere near that level, the Cavaliers hope to contribute as a playmaker to a resurgent Cavaliers team. The Cavaliers also lost point guard Collin Sexton to a knee injury.

The 35-year-old Rondo is averaging 3.1 points and 3.7 assists in 16 minutes per game for the Lakers this season. This is Rondo’s 16th NBA season, which includes two championships and four All-Star appearances.