Rondo to start over Ball as Lakers’ point guard

Rajon Rondo signed with the Lakers in free agency after a season with the Pelicans.

Veteran Rajon Rondo is expected to begin the season as the Los Angeles Lakers’ starting point guard ahead of prized second-year man Lonzo Ball, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

Luke Walton told me today that Rajon Rondo will be the Lakers’ starting point guard to start the year,” McMenamin said on ESPN Radio. “Lonzo told me he was just cleared today for full contact practice, but Walton had already said that won’t include scrimmaging.”

Rondo, 32, signed a one-year deal with the Lakers in July after a season with the New Orleans Pelicans. He averaged 8.3 points and 8.2 assists in 65 games last season.

Meanwhile, Ball underwent surgery on his left knee July 18. The former No. 2 overall draft pick averaged 10.2 points and 7.2 assists as rookie, but appeared in just 52 games following an assortment of injuries. His recovery following knee surgery may be why Rondo may get the starting nod from Walton.

Rondo said he is open to whatever role Walton thinks works best.

“Whatever role coach gives me, whatever role this team wants me to play, I’ll play it,” Rondo told reporters. “Whether it’s starting 15 games and getting benched for eight, I’ve been through it all in my career. I’m ready for anything.”

”I’m not defined as one thing coming here. I’m just here to bring what I can to the team. Intangibles, obviously be a leader, hold guys accountable and bring a championship mentality.”