Cavaliers in talks to acquire Rajon Rondo from Lakers to fill hole in backcourt – USA TODAY

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The Cleveland Cavaliers were in trade talks Thursday to acquire veteran point guard Rajon Rondo from the Los Angeles Lakers.

A league source confirmed discussions on the deal, first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Rondo would have to clear COVID-19 protocols before he could join the Cavs.

Injuries and COVID-19 have left the Cavs in dire straits at the guard position. Darius Garland remained in health and safety protocols after testing positive Tuesday, and Ricky Rubio was lost for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee suffered in Tuesday’s loss at New Orleans.

Collin Sexton underwent season-ending surgery on Nov. 17 for a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Kevin Pangos made his first NBA start for the Cavs on Thursday against the Washington Wizards at CapitalOne Arena. The Cavs signed guard Malik Newman to a 10-day contract on Wednesday as a hardship exception.

Rondo, 35, a four-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion, has played in 18 games for the Lakers this season, averaging 3.1 points and 3.7 assists in 16.1 minutes. In 2020-21, he played in 45 games with the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers, averaging a combined 5.4 points and 4.4 assists.

Rondo won championships with the Lakers in 2020 and with the Boston Celtics in 2008.

Rondo’s last season with double-digit starts was with the Lakers in 2018-19, when he was in the lineup for 29 of his 46 games and averaged 9.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 8.0 assists. His last season scoring in double figures was with the Sacramento Kings in 2015-16, when he averaged 11.9 points and a career high-tying 11.7 assists in 72 games.