NBA, Los Angeles Lakers, Rajon Rondo, Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Clippers First Take | Stephen A. Goes Crazy Rajon Rondo trade to Clippers will be biggest threat to Lakers

He knows how to run a team he’s a two time champion experience and all of that stuff that comes with it. He’S got that. Then you have to take into consideration the fact that, because he’s with the clippers, how much did that potentially do to the lakers, which is something we’ll get into a little bit later, because you’re talking about a guy that’s, incredibly familiar with the things that the lakers, Like to do in order to be successful, so he’s able to bring his already supreme intellect to the equation, but then, when you combine that with his knowledge of what they want to do and how they want to do it because he’s been their teammates, you never Know what kind of profound impact that that could have, but ultimately it all equals to this? There is no excuses and it puts kawhi leonard in the line of fire. The pressure has mounted significantly. He wanted a point guard desperately. He’S got a point guard. The clippers have have given him everything that he needs it’s on him. He wasn’t the man in san antonio okay, even though he was the man in toronto to some degree. We all know what role kyle, lowry and them played from a leadership perspective and the continuity and cohesion that they had available. They had available to them because they had been accustomed to playing with one another for years now it comes down to kawhi leonard the face of this franchise, the man that they mortgaged the farm for the re.

This is what it’s all about and it’s on him, and i love it because this is where we’re we gon na find out what this brother’s made of i’m, not talking about points max i’m, not talking about his personal level of production i’m. Talking about his ability, as a leader to galvanize the pieces around him to make sure you get max potential or max production out of the parts that surround you that’s. What leaders do we gon na see whether or not kawhi leonard has that in him we never claimed kawhi leonard was a leader just playing basketball at his position there are very few who’ve ever done it better than him two way player. So the issue has not been kawhi. The issue’s been paul george, who doesn’t show up in the playoffs period. Paul george goes from all star, plus regular season to starter plus in the playoffs. He goes down like a full notch. Kawhi doesn’t kawaii’s a two time finals, mvp kawhi has with great last playoffs until game seven. I agree with that. That was a joke job, but paul jordan. Paul george is a guy hitting the side of the backboard. Now you pointed that out now, rondo makes them better. I wouldn’t say no excuses better. I would say better because they had to give up lou williams to get them and it’s too bad for the clippers, because the clippers wanted to add rondo in the off season, but they couldn’t make it work because rondo wanted to go get paid.

Of course, you want to go, get your money; he got it, but now in order to bring him in, they had to exchange a piece in the regular season. Lou williams, better than rondo it’s, not like lou williams, can’t play under pressure it’s. Just that what this team needed, they’re playing, kawhi sort of as a point forward – that’s, not really him he’s, gotten much better at it even this year than last year last year than the year before, he’s gotten much better at it, but that’s not him. Naturally, they needed a floor general who can organize their offense and a guy who can help paul george when it matters most in the playoffs. They got that in rondo, but they gave up one of the best six men ever i mean who? Who perennially is in running for sixth man of the year in the history of the game as much as lou williams? They had to give that up. They got marginally better, now, marginally, better might be enough because they were knocking at the door as is but let’s not make it like. Oh now they got rondo. They didn’t have to give anything up, no excuses, kawhi. He ain’t there because kawhi needs an excuse. He’S there to help out the offense and if anyone needs help on that team under pressure it ain’t kawhi it’s paul george max. I want to say this about lou williams, because i don’t think you’ve picked this up.

Do you know that he’s averaged seven? Less minutes? A game this year than he did last year, he’s shooting four less shots per game. This is a guy that his his special he’s a specialist as a scorer. When have you ever seen that happen unless something’s going awry, he’s averaging four, less shots, a game? Seven! Less minutes a game, six less points, a game and obviously the pickup of luke canard has something to do with that to some degree which, which is a move. I did not like personally i’m not sold on luke canard on that level, not at the expense of a lou williams and lou williams, going to atl lemon pepperloo magic city. I mean they got advertisements up there right now. Everyone we all understand that we are, i mean i ain’t mad at them. I ain’t mad at them, but i will tell you this. At the end of the day, we can’t ignore at some point in time. This is why i and and i’m gon na confess this max kellerman it’s your fault, why kawhi leonard is receiving heat from this chair, because when you changed your mind and had the giannis, the greek freak is the best player in the world on a thursday and By that monday he was the fifth okay. You know you talking about foolish right. You talked about kawhi leonard, and i recall us having conversations as to whether or not kawhi leonard was better than lebron james, because i tried to educate you about how false that was right, but nevertheless, kawhi leonard had warranted all that consideration and one of the elements That we brought up wasn’t just numbers, it was leadership, it was responsibility, it was the pressure of having to produce all of those things we brought up and i’m saying right now is the most pressure that kawhi leonard has ever been on most pressure that he’s uh.

Now you can look at phil, you can look at toronto, but remember when he got traded out of toronto. That was about him wanting to leave san antonio. So when he goes to toronto, you knew what messiah was trying to do when he decided to depart with demar derozan in favor of kawhi leonard. We get all of that max because he went for it and we understand that. But what i’m saying to you is that they’re in canada, he really just wanted to depart from san antonio. He really wanted to go from san antonio to l.a and and the spurs would not be cooperative, so they shipped them out of the country, and we got that the point that i’m trying to make is that, even though, from a basketball perspective, you looked at toronto And you said they got a shot. There was a debate as to whether or not they would have beaten philly in that series. Even though it went seven games why’d they beat him. They did him kawhi lennon, with the hit one of the greatest shots of all time who traveled before he took the shot. Nevertheless, okay, jordan pushed off okay. You know what i mean is great. I disagree i don’t graduate and i push up on joe. I don’t report, you recall seeing a push up i’m, just saying you can look at kawhi leonard right now and you can make a legitimate argument. This is the first time he has been on this spotlight from the standpoint of all right.

What you gon na do now, but here’s the problem here’s the problem, here’s a problem with what you’re saying he’s a two time: finals: mvp, not one two time now. The second time was in toronto and you correctly point out that if kd wasn’t hurt, of course, golden state crushes them by the way sweet if go, if kd’s not hurt golden state crushes everybody ever like that team was unstoppable, he’s, the one he’s one of the Ones that he would have so you talk about injury, so now you’re saying well now, it’s on kawhi, even though he’s a two time finals, mvp twice: okay, you know what they say in nature. Twice can be coincidence three times his pattern: okay, here’s the thing well yeah. If he does it again, you know what i’m going to hear from you next time, not a word, not a word that’s. What i’m going to hear, not a word! A d is coming off injury: oh kd, what’s, the difference, it’s completely false good nice. Try, though, but completely false here’s. Why max kellerman look at the western conference? You got denver. You got utah we’re getting into all of this. As the show progresses you got denver. You got utah, you got portland all right. The lakers are expecting a.d and and lebron to come back to lebron’s gon na, be fine you’re, not you’re, not expecting a d backup you’re, absolutely right, i’m worried about a.d, but i ain’t worried about lebron at all.

Lebron’S. Just arrested he’s chilling, he deserves it, take a month off no problem. Okay, then we go to the eastern conference and you only got to face one of them if you’re coming out of the west that’s true but it’s, still milwaukee, it’s, still uh philadelphia, it’s still miami and obviously brooklyn, and so when i look at it from that Perspective, whoever comes out of the east is going to be incredibly formidable, it’s, not a given that the west is going to win the chip and because of that reality at all, the bottom line is. Is that i’m not going to say that about kawhi you’re, holding it against kawhi that he’s not as good a gm as lebron? Basically forget about leadership? No kawhi made them go after that’s. You hold up you’re talking about damn i’m gon na, go ahead and say paul george and paul george, as a second banana has not been good enough without us. I am not involving paul george. I am not saying that paul george doesn’t need to step up his game in the postseason right. What i’m saying is that he shouldn’t be more the focal point than kawhi put it this way, that’s. What i’m saying put it this way? Kawhi, because he’s not a point guard, not a point forward like lebron right kawhi needs a dude like that. He’S got it, he could be he’s got it in rondo. He needs black a pass he could handle.

He could shoot the the reason he could post up. He can do it all the reason they’re not favored is because paul george ain’t a.d he’s, not a d he’s, not kd he’s, not james harden. He is a half step below listen, that’s. Why max let’s be honest? Well, you’re not listening max because i didn’t say kawaii championship. I said what, if i said, kawhi owes us western conference final. What did i say? No, no. I said he owes us a match up against lebron right. I agree with that that’s. What i’m talking about, in other words, if you guys, could understand that he’s got to get through a match up with him, let’s find out. You came to l.a, you dangled yourself as the champion with the crown hanging from your mirror. You said: it’s the new king. All right and lebron was waiting for him and they folded it with no argument as long as you’re, not talking chip or butt i’m, not talking to you lebron and kd got hardened, i will say western conference, i will say western conference champions and i will say G don’t have their legs in the fourth quarter, because they’re extra do something that they’re not used to doing and that’s being play makers. Bringing the ball up the floor getting guys in sets that’s not what they do. They get buckets and on the defensive end, they lock you up now and rajon. Rondo takes pressure off for everyone, kawhi pg tyloo everyone.

He is the ultimate leader. You need that guy in that locker roll. Just remember right. We all thought last year and i’m, not taking anything from kyle cruz with the lakers. We thought that it was anthony davis, lebron, james and kyle kuzma as a mini big three, where it turned out to be anthony davis, how i mean anthony davis, lebron, james and rajon rondo when it mattered. The most rajon rondo is the one that stepped up in the finals and delivered in great fashion. So we all know what he’s capable of doing he’s one of the best floyd generals that this game has saw and the clippers definitely upgraded it upgraded by acquiring him. Yesterday, before the trade deadline, so the clip is right now ranked number one in the western conference. I agree with everything you just said about rondo. He is not just by reputation but in fact an all star when it matters most in the playoffs, and that gives him three all stars when it matters most it’ll probably also help paul george, who needs to help under pressure and not make kawhi into something. He’S. Really not point forward that’s, not really him. They also still have batum and patrick beverly and reggie jackson and marcus morris and serge ibaka. They got a crew, but what they don’t have perk. They don’t have lou williams anymore and in the off season, if they could have just signed rondo, they have him and lou williams that’s one thing, but the addition of rondo don’t.

You have to subtract lou williams. Now who can go? Get you a bucket when you need it most? No, no, because blue will wasn’t playing well. He was, he was playing up and down this season and you could tell in the energy that kind of, in my opinion, from watching the clippers that lou will and the clippers have ran. This course, like you, could plug reggie jackson into that role, and he could be a guy that come off the bench and give you 15 a night. I was with reggie, i watch him stepped up when we was in oklahoma city as a young gun. He stepped up and came in off the bench when everybody was wondering when we traded james harden. Who was going to be that third option? I watched reggie jackson do that so you put reggie jackson in the role he’s capable of coming in and giving you that 15 points a night by the way uh max, listen, ty lue is bringing marcus morris off the bench. You know why he’s kind of putting him in the six man role, so we have to remember he’s, coming in and being aggressive, nicholas batoon is the guy that’s in the starting lineup. So they have enough depth, in my opinion, coming in off the bench to make up, for the lack of i mean for the mission of blue will now that he’s gone well. First of all, i don’t have a problem with lou williams being going in this respect.

I know the brother can play but let’s understand some of the couple of things number one he hasn’t been the same since doc. Rivers, departed or playing for tyler is a little bit different for him than playing for daca rivers. We know that i think the acquisition of luke canard heard him now. Lucana is only giving you about 19 minutes a game. Okay, only averaging about seven points, a game, but when you look at what they were looking for from him, if you’re lou williams, you’re saying what the hell did, you need him for. While i was here, especially when lou williams is in the last year of a contractor spending eight million dollars and this brother luke canard starts getting paid a minimum of 13 million dollars starting next year, he got like a four year: 50 plus million dollar deal on The books, lou williams, is making 8 million a year, and so, when you take that into consideration – and you look at the fact that last year, coming into the postseason, what the expectations were not only was their bubble play compromise because of cove at 19. But then you got yourself into a tizzy, because you had to go back to atlanta for a funeral and found your way at magic city ordering lemon pepper wings, and so that became the headline which was very, very embarrassing. Okay, so then you come back and you play where the lemon pepper wigs are now listen.

Listen, i ain’t hating on them. I like lemon pepper wings. I like them and and damn it i i’ll confess i’ve been to magic city before damn it long long. Long time ago, but i’ve been there, i understand here’s the deal, though in the end him going there at that particular moment in time, reeked of irresponsibility. He got a lot of criticism for it when you watched him play, he hasn’t really been the same since then. You take into account what happened in the bubble when they had a 3 1 lead and they blew it to denver. So all of these things have compromised his cachet and the possibility of him getting the kind of new deal. We all know he richly deserves, and then you bring in luke canard. On top of all of that, so i think that with lou with lou williams, there’s been an absence of inspiration. I don’t think his skills kp have diminished that drastically. I just think he needs. There are some people that just need a new environment, a new place to go, and i think – and i think he needed that and that’s right. The reggie jackson point is good. I think also batum’s career resurgence. He’S had a renaissance in his group, i’m gon na. Warn you if you’re gon na bring up nicholas platoon, jordan or anybody in charlotte, because all right? No, no, no, listen! Listen! Jordan! Doesn’T speak about this. He wouldn’t even talk to me about it but i’m here to tell you something right now: it ain’t no accident that you used to see jordan on the bench and then once nicholas matum arrived and stole all his money.

You didn’t see jordan on a because he was scared. He robbed something to him because he felt like he got robbed that nicholas, but so it’s kind of, but that’s, not that nicholas tomb anymore, not now. This is more like the nicholas platoon who got the before. He got it come play up time, but my god, you talking about highway robbery that man he didn’t just rob the hornets. He robbed the city of charlotte, he retired have been arrested. He’S actually coming out of the tower to your point about not needing lou williams. As much if you have rondo and pg 13 and and kawhi and ibaka and morris and batum and beverly and reggie jackson, you got enough go ahead, kp and big zubac, but here’s the thing. If they could have kept, if they could have kept little will they probably would have, but again once again in order to make the trade work, the salaries got to match up right, rachel rondo, making around eight or nine million a year, so the clippers had to Do what’s best to get them over the hall and again i’m, not saying that this is a fact. This is my own opinion, but kawhi leonard has a player option at the end of this year. We don’t know what he’s going to do so, at the end of the day, the clippers got to make sure that they put themselves in the best position possible to win the championship around kawhi.

So they can make sure that he signed back whether it’s next season or whatever and for the long haul. So the clippers got to make sure they do everything to try to win the championship this year or at least make it to the farmers. Well, they have a very welcome absolute team now i absolutely agree with that and just as an aside fellas nicholas platoon remember in 2016, i had to look this up signed with charlotte five years: 120 million dollars and proceeded to average, 15, 11, 9 and 3.. The bible belt: okay, because you know you got ta. You got a lot of folks out there that got god in their life or whatever, and they pray that nicholas mattoon never come back. I mean that’s what it is, but on this team that’s what it is on this team he’s a great fit eight points. He shoots with 43 for three point range. Only averaging eight points, a game.

What do you think?

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