Sources: Kings show strong interest in Rajon Rondo

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The Sacramento Kings expressed strong interest in point guard Rajon Rondo during a phone call at the start of the free-agent period, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Rajon Rondo (Getty Images)
Rajon Rondo (Getty Images)

Rondo received a phone call from Kings president of basketball operations Vlade Divac after the NBA's free-agent market began at 12:01 a.m. ET Wednesday. Divac did not offer a contract to Rondo, but did invite him to visit Sacramento for face-to-face talks and a tour, a source said.

Rondo has mutual interest in Sacramento and could visit in the coming days. Talks between the Kings and Rondo are expected to continue Wednesday.

One key to Sacramento's hopes of signing Rondo is recruitment from forward Rudy Gay, a close friend of Rondo's. Rondo has recently spoken to Gay and Kings All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins, a source said. Gay is under contract through the 2016-17 season in Sacramento.

[Related: Get the latest from our complete 2015 NBA free-agency tracker]

Rondo averaged 9.3 points and 6.5 assists in 28.7 minutes per game with the Dallas Mavericks in 46 games last season after being traded from the Boston Celtics. His stay with the team came to an abrupt end during the first-round of the playoffs.

Rondo did not see eye-to-eye with Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle and was suspended for a game after one disagreement.

Rondo averaged 11.1 points, 8.4 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game from 2006-14 with Boston. The four-time All-Star won an NBA championship with the Celtics in 2008 and played in the 2010 NBA Finals.

The New York Knicks are not planning to pursue Rondo, despite needing a point guard, a source told Yahoo Sports.

The Kings are in turmoil with the relationship between Cousins and coach George Karl having deteriorated. Rondo has a long history of not getting along with some of his coaches. Karl has a long history of not getting along with some of his players, including Cousins, Carmelo Anthony, Ray Allen and Kenyon Martin.

Rondo has no previous relationship with Karl, a source said. Karl had success coaching talented point guards, including Hall of Famer Gary Payton, Chauncey Billups, Allen Iverson, Andre Miller and Ty Lawson.

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