Morning sports update: What Paul Pierce had to say about Rajon Rondo joining LeBron James in L.A.

"Having a guy like Rondo definitely improves the team’s IQ."

Paul Pierce Rajon Rondo
Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce embraces Rajon Rondo on the court in 2012. –AP

Rick Porcello hit a three-run double off Max Scherzer to help the Red Sox to a 4-3 victory over the Nationals on Monday night. On the mound, Porcello allowed two runs in six innings for Boston, who picked up an insurance run when Mookie Betts hit a seventh-inning solo shot.

What Paul Pierce had to say about Rajon Rondo joining LeBron James in L.A.

Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo battled the Los Angeles Lakers twice on basketball’s highest stage, so there’s few people better placed to opine on the point guard’s move to L.A. For Pierce, Rondo’s decision to sign a one-year, $9 million deal with the Lakers represents a chance for LeBron James to team up with another ‘high IQ’ player who can carry some of the play-making load as James ages.

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The Lakers added Rondo, James, JaVale McGee, and Lance Stephenson in a flurry of moves since free agency began Sunday. President of basketball operations Magic Johnson is almost certainly not done tweaking his roster, but has kept last year’s young core — Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart — in place so far.

“As LeBron gets older in age, he needs guys like Rondo and Lonzo Ball to bring the ball up and make plays for him — guys like Lance that can make plays because as he advances in age he has to find different ways to score and make life easier on himself,” Pierce said on ESPN. “Having a guy like Rondo definitely improves the team’s IQ.”

Rondo is renowned for his intellect. The point guard devours game film and seems to know the opposition’s next move before they do themselves, a skill he perhaps honed playing Connect Four. Pierce noted that while McGee and Stephenson might not be known for their basketball minds, Rondo “definitely” is.

“[Rondo’s] a guy who’s been to the Finals, won a championship, been to a couple Finals,” he said. “So it just makes me think about the other guys because this is something that LeBron wanted. It makes me think — are him and Magic on the same page? Are they consulting each other about certain players that he wants around him?”

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Pierce acknowledged that while the Lakers roster is far from settled, they have already made the franchise-altering move necessary to compete for a championship.

“At the end of the day, you have LeBron,” he said. “And if you have LeBron, you’re automatically a contender.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who believes signing Rondo was intended to send a message to Ball, seconded Pierce’s assessment of Rondo’s game.

“There’s not a more intelligent point guard in the league who understands schemes and tendencies of other players than Rajon Rondo,”Wojnarowski said. “He’s a genius level player.”

Jabari Bird on free agency buzz: ‘I’m not too concerned about it’: The Celtics have reportedly extended a qualifying offer to the shooting guard, who has also garnered interest from both the Philadelphia 76ers and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Bird is keeping his focus on summer league, not free agency.

“Whatever happens off the court, my agent is going to handle that for me,” he said. “But right now, I’m a Celtic. That’s what I’m getting ready for, Celtics summer league.” (Boston.com)

DeMarcus ‘Boogie’ Cousins reportedly chose Warriors over Celtics: Cousins agreed to a one-year, $5.3 million deal with the Warriors, adding a fifth All-Star to an already loaded roster. According to reports, the free agent big man had narrowed his choices to Golden State and Boston before committing to the world champions. (Boston.com)

Red Sox prospect Michael Chavis returns after 80-game suspension: Chavis, who was suspended 80 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance in April, returned to the diamond on Monday. He maintained he never knowingly consumed a banned substance and said he’s “still trying to figure out what happened.” (Boston.com)

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