Every NBA team dreams of pairing a savvy veteran with a young superstar, especially when those two players play the same position. On Saturday, the Atlanta Hawks did just that, bringing in Rajon Rondo to work alongside Trae Young.
Atlanta signed the two-time NBA champion and four-time All-Star to a two-year, $15 million deal earlier on Saturday, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. The 34-year-old veteran will play a key role in backing up the 22-year-old point guard, as the Hawks push for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Already, Young approved of Atlanta’s newest signing, posting a short message on his Instagram story. The image he used features Rondo in the Hawks vintage red and gold jerseys.
Take a look, courtesy of The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner:
Trae just posted this on his Instagram. Clearly approves. pic.twitter.com/axHuaLBV5p
— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) November 21, 2020
Rondo not only will be a valuable addition as a mentor to Young, but also provides Atlanta with a solid perimeter defender. The Hawks defense was among the worst in the NBA last year particularly against talented guards. Rondo, who spent his last year in a huge bench role with the Lakers, will be called upon play stingy defense and run the offense without Young on the floor.
Rondo marks the latest acquisition made by the Hawks this offseason. After free agency opened on Friday, Atlanta signed stretch forward Danilo Gallinari to a three-year, $61 million deal. The 32-year-old was one of the biggest names on the market and fills a three-point shooting need for the Hawks.
Atlanta also added former Bulls guard Kris Dunn on Saturday to a two-year, $10 million deal. Known for his defense, Dunn will also be used to sure up the Hawks backcourt.
Atlanta underperformed by their standards last season, winning only 20 games and finishing 12th in the conference. Although Young looks the part of a superstar, the Hawks supporting cast will have to step up if the team wants to contend next year.