The New Orleans Pelicans hoped to keep point guard Rajon Rondo, but a one year, $9 million offer from the Lakers has him joining LeBron James in Los Angeles, as first reported by ESPN NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski.

According to Pelicans beat writer for The Advocate, Scott Kushner, New Orleans management was both disappointed, and "caught off guard".

After agreeing to terms with point guard Elfrid Payton yesterday, the consensus from the front office was the team hoped and intended to re-sign Rondo if possible.

With the team pushing near the hard cap, and still working on signing other free agents, as well as DeMarcus "Boogie" Cousins, the Pelicans couldn't afford to offer Rondo $9 million this year, and it cost them a veteran who was a respected leader both on the court and in the locker room.

WDSU sports reporter Fletcher Mackel received the following response from an NBA source when asked about Rondo's departure from New Orleans.