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Rajon Rondo calls opportunity with Cleveland Cavaliers 'dream come true'

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Rajon Rondo discussed his recent trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from Nov. 9, 2021.

A two-time NBA champion currently in his 16th season in the NBA, one might understand if Rajon Rondo had mixed feelings about being traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this week. While at 21-17, the Cavs currently have a better record than the 20-19 Lakers, Los Angeles (+1500) possesses significantly higher odds of winning the 2022 NBA championship than Cleveland (+18000) does.

RELATED: More Cleveland Cavaliers coverage from WKYC

But with the chance to play an increased role on the NBA's most surprising team, the 35-year-old point guard said that he's nothing short of thrilled for his opportunity with the Cavs.

"Playing that many minutes is a dream come true at this point in my career," Rondo said. "Sixteen years, to be able to play 30 minutes a night, hopefully I'll make an impact on the court, a strong impact. Whatever my role is, if it's 20 minutes or 30, or if it's four, I'm willing to do it and that's what I came here to do: to be a positive impact."

Regardless of what Rondo's role in Cleveland is, it would be tough to imagine it won't be a significant increase from what it most recently was with the Lakers. While the four-time All-Star played a key role in Los Angeles' run to the 2020 NBA title, he has played just 16.1 minutes per game in 18 appearances this season, including 14 DNPs (did not play).

Playing time with the Cavs, however, shouldn't be an issue, with veteran point guard Ricky Rubio's promising 2021-22 season having been cut short due to a torn ACL. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Cleveland head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said that Rondo will spend time both backing up point guard Darius Garland and playing alongside him -- just as Rubio did.

It's worth noting that Rondo -- who has averaged 3.1 points and 3.7 assists this season -- isn't the same player he was leading the league in assists. But both his play and veteran presence will nonetheless be counted on as Cleveland looks to make the postseason for the first time since 2018.

"To have an impact on this group, to make a difference in this game, I'm excited about," Rondo said. "I'm going to try to make the game easier for [Kevin Love], [Jarrett Allen] and [Darius Garland] as well. There's a lot of pressure on certain guys to always make plays on the floor and that's what my specialty is: being a playmaker and creating shots for guys and being a leader on the floor, communication-wise."

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