Lakers’ Byron Scott wonders if Dallas acquiring Rajon Rondo will be enough to contend

first_imgSo much for Kobe Bryant having breakfast in Boston two weeks ago with Rajon Rondo. The Mavericks acquired Rondo from the Celtics for Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson, a 2015 first-round pick and a 2016 second-round pick. Meanwhile, a Lakers official downplayed reports the team had offered Steve Nash’s expiring $9.8 million contract and a first-round pick from Houston to Boston for Rondo. “We haven’t talked about anything as far as trades are concerned,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said about recent conversations he had with general manager Mitch Kupchak. “We talked about our players and how we can get them better.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Rondo will still become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The Lakers will have enough cap space to offer a max contract to Rondo, though he makes $12.9 million and averages 8.3 points, 10.8 assists and 7.5 rebounds per game. But the Lakers’ chance of securing Rondo could become more difficult. Ellis joins a loaded Mavericks (19-8) team featuring Dirk Nowitzki, Chandler Parsons, Monta Ellis and Tyson Chandler. “Rondo is a hell of a basketball player,” Scott said before the Lakers’ 104-103 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night at Staples Center. “Obviously (Mavericks owner Mark) Cuban and that group is trying to go for a championship right now.”Still, Scott tabbed the Golden State Warriors (22-3) and Memphis Grizzlies (21-5) as the Western Conference favorites. Scott lauded the Warriors’ prolific offense featuring Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and the team’s defense. Scott argued Memphis’ rugged style suits postseason play. Cuban and Scott appear to agree on something different, though. center_img Scott likes Cuban’s recent proposal that the NBA should realign their conferences considering the disparity between the Eastern and Western Conference. Miami (12-15) and Brooklyn (10-15) are slated to make the playoffs as the seventh and eight seed, respectively, despite having records below .500. Meanwhile, Scott described the Western Conference as a “monster,” featuring Golden State, Memphis, Portland (21-6) and Houston (19-6). “It doesn’t make sense geographically. But other than that, he has a good point,” Scott said of Cuban. “There’s a few teams, us included, that would love to be in the Eastern Conference right now.”Fond memoriesThunder coach Scott Brooks holds Bryant in high regards for reasons besides his productive play and mentoring Oklahoma City stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Brooks gushed about coaching Bryant in the 2012 NBA All-Star game when the Lakers’ star played both through a concussion and stopped LeBron James on a potential game-winning shot. “He wanted to guard LeBron James and he didn’t want him to score,” Scott said of Bryant. “I’m glad he didn’t because we got extra money by winning that game. So, thank you, Kobe.” last_img read more