CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cavaliers have made progress in talks with the Los Angeles Lakers about a trade involving veteran point guard Rajon Rondo, a person familiar with the potential deal told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Cleveland has been urgently looking for an experienced guard since Ricky Rubio suffered a season-ending knee injury Tuesday night.
The Cavs and Lakers are “trending” toward completing the trade, said the person spoke on condition of anonymity because the teams have not yet reached an agreement.
It’s not yet known if Cleveland will include any players in a trade. The Cavs will have to clear a roster spot to make room for Rondo.
The Athletic was first to report the potential swap.
Rondo is in his first season with the Lakers, who are just 17-19 and have struggled with one of the NBA’s older rosters. In a reserve role, the 35-year-old is averaging 3.1 points and 3.7 assists in 18 games.
A four-time All-Star, Rondo has been in health and safety protocols since late last week. He would need to be cleared before joining the Cavs, who are home for games against Atlanta on Friday and Indiana on Sunday.
Rondo is under contract for this season at $2.6 million, and the Cavs have a trade exception that could absorb his salary.
At 20-14 going into Thursday’s game at Washington, the Cavs have been one of the league’s biggest surprises and want to keep their momentum going.
They’re desperate to find a proven guard after Rubio, who had a major impact on Cleveland’s early season turnaround, tore his left anterior cruciate ligament against New Orleans. Rubio also tore his left ACL as a rookie in 2012.
Cavs reserve guard Kevin Pangos made his first career start against the Wizards.
Rubio had a positive effect on Cleveland’s young players, especially guard Darius Garland, who is currently in health and safety protocols.
The Cavs are hoping Rondo, who is in his 18th season and has plenty of playoff credentials, could provide some of the same leadership and playmaking as they got from Rubio