For all the attention DeMarcus Cousins joining the NBA champion Golden State Warriors has gotten, it is not the most interesting free agent move this summer by a former Kentucky Wildcats player.
Ex-UK point guard Rajon Rondo agreeing to join LeBron James in Los Angeles as part of a relaunch of the tradition-steeped Lakers franchise is going to be the most compelling show in pro basketball next season.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
Since James announced he was leaving Cleveland for the bright lights of Hollywood, the Lakers have been on a counter-intuitive signing spree that defies the conventional wisdom about what kind of roster best works around the NBA's best player.
According to ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst, there is a theory behind the unexpected moves the Magic Johnson-led Lakers front office has been making.
In Cleveland, the Cavaliers surrounded James with a roster filled with outside shooters, many of whom were not especially adept defenders.
It was then left to James to create shots for his Cavs teammates. As Cleveland's defensive metrics tanked in recent seasons, that put even more pressure on LeBron to make the Cavs' offense go.
The Lakers, Windhorst reports, sold James on a wholly-different vision. They are trying to construct a roster with other players capable of creating offense with the ball in their hands.
The working hypothesis is that this will allow James, who is 33 with a lot of basketball miles on his tires, to play more off the ball and in the post.
That is the rationale for the Lakers adding ball-dominant creators like Rondo and Stephenson to a roster that already includes another such player in Lonzo Ball, the second-year point guard.
Will it work? Once play starts, it will be fascinating to see whether James can really transition to not having the ball in his hands most of the time.
If LeBron moves his game to the post, how often will he end up having to pass out of double teams to wide open but erratic jump shooters like Rondo (30.9 percent career three-point shooter), Stephenson (30.3) and/or Ball (30.5)?
Of course, how Rondo, 32, will fit with King James is only part of what makes the Louisville native's excursion to Tinseltown can't-miss viewing.
Rondo, a basketball savant with a championship pedigree (2008) from his nine years as the Boston Celtics point guard (2006-2015), would be an ideal mentor to Ball.
Like Rondo, the 6-foot-6 ex-UCLA star is a pass-first lead guard with an uncommon knack for rebounding but who also possesses an unconventional and inconsistent jump shot.
Alas, Ball's talkative father, LaVar, seems unlikely to allow a teacher/student relationship to develop between Rondo and his son.
Already, in a CNN interview, LaVar Ball referred to the 6-1 Rondo — a four-time NBA All-Star — as a "little backup."
The more LaVar talks, the easier it is to imagine Rondo coming to Lakers training camp determined to prove a hard point to Lonzo Ball — assuming the latter isn't traded.
Rondo's move to Los Angeles is fascinating also for what it means for what had been a UK-heavy New Orleans roster.
After Rondo played so well for New Orleans during its run to the Western Conference playoffs semifinals (10.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 12.2 assists, 42.1 percent three-point shooting), one wonders where Pelicans star Anthony Davis is on the departure of his fellow ex-Cat?
How Davis, third in this season's MVP voting at age 25, feels toward New Orleans is pretty much the key to the city's future in the NBA.
Since Rondo was traded from Boston in 2015, he's become an NBA journeyman. He's played one season each in Dallas, Sacramento, Chicago and New Orleans to decidedly mixed reviews.
A school of thought had emerged that Rondo's ball-occupying, shooting-challenged game had little place in the current NBA where three-point marksmanship has become the coin of the realm.
Rondo quieted some of that talk last season by playing effectively in New Orleans.
The fact that two of the sharpest minds ever to play basketball, Magic Johnson and LeBron James, now want him in Los Angeles as they reboot the Lakers franchise would seem the ultimate vote of confidence.
Can Rondo find happiness with LeBron in LaLa Land?
Whatever happens on the basketball court, the Lakers this winter will be a rollicking-good reality TV show.
Mark Story: 859-231-3230; Twitter: @markcstory