Rondo, Celtics Reach Deal For Five-Year, $55 Million Extension

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Rajon Rondo Extension Made Official

According to a tweet by ESPN Boston’s Chris Forsberg, the Rajon Rondo contract extension is official:

Rondo signing is official. Team does not release details other than to confirm multi-year extension.


Rajon Rondo, Other Celtics React to New Contract

Per ESPN’s Chris Forsberg, a few of Boston’s biggest names offer their thoughts on Rondo’s new deal.

First, from Rondo:

“[It’s] Not over yet, haven’t signed the papers yet.” Is he close? “Very close.” Excited? “I’m excited, thankful, humbled.” Asked about specifics of contract and potential 5 yrs, $55 million Rondo said: “I don’t know the numbers. Until I see it on paper, it’s all talk.”

“It hasn’t hit me yet, it probably won’t until I get that first check. Right now I’m still on that rookie deal.” (laughter)

Meanwhile, Ray Allen and Doc Rivers aren’t worried that the new money will change Rondo:

Ray Allen on advice to Rondo: “Money doesn’t make you a better player.” Says he isn’t worried about Rondo becoming a fat cat with contract.

Doc: “I’m not going to treat him any different than I did yesterday. If he screws up, I’ll still yell at him. I guess I can fine him more.”


Boston Fans Rejoice Over Rondo (With Good Reason)

After a summer of trade rumors preceded a preseason of assurances from Rondo that he was fine playing through this season and becoming a free agent... Suddenly, Rondo's going to be a Celtic for at least the next six seasons. From Jeff Clark at Celtics Blog:

I couldn't be happier for the guy and for the team.  I understand the value of getting the lowest contract terms possible to build a team within the financial constraints of the salary cap and all that.  But at the end of the day, the sides were just a few million apart and it seems like the Celtics decided to pay the extra 5 million or so to get it done.  Hats off to Bill Duffy who did his client well.

And if the Celtics overpaid by $5M to get it done, that's worth it to me considering the fact that there was always that risk that he would have gotten a max offer on the (restricted) open market next year.  Sure, some restricted free agents have mostly been getting less money in the market this year, but that doesn't mean next year will be the same (especially with the new collective bargaining agreement coming up).  By locking Rondo up, the Celtics managed their risk.

Rondo is one of the best point guards in the game and he's a critical piece to the championship hopes of this current core group of veterans.  Of course (Lord willing) he'll be playing long after this group retires and for the Celtics he represents a critical building block for the future.  As long as Perk's body holds up, we've got a solid center and a top notch point guard to build a team around.

Really and truly, Rondo is one of the best point guards in the game. I feel like that message needs to be reiterated because it's so hard to conceive. His game--herky jerky drives to the hoop, hitch-in-his-jumper spot ups, and lots of strange looking assists--doesn't exactly lend itself to conventional description. He's different from any other guard in the league. But mostly, he's just "very good," and as far as the Celtics are concerned, that's all that matters.

This is a guy that averaged 17 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, and 2 steals during last year's playoffs. Does that sound like someone that can help a team? If Lamarcus Aldridge and Andrea Bargnani are worth $65 and $55 million, respectively, then I'd say the Celtics should be pretty happy with themselves. Next to Portland's Brandon Roy and perhaps Rudy Gay in Memphis, Boston has in Rondo one of the best players from the 2006 Draft Class, and they're paying him the average salary for players from that class. In the end, that's all it took--just pay him what everyone else is getting, and Rondo, who wanted to stay in Boston all along, was going to be happy.

I mean, Rondo was the best man at Kendrick Perkins' wedding this summer. This is a guy who wanted be a part of this organization. And now, with Rondo and Perkins on board, the Celtics have building blocks in place for life after Garnett, Pierce, and Ray Allen--nothing too crazy, but a very good point guard and a good big man is a solid start. But that's three years from now.

As for this season, the Celtics have finally shown faith in Rondo, their second most valuable player, and now both sides can focus on the task at hand--winning a championship--without worrying about next summer, the free agent market, or any other distractions. If they're to do that, Rondo's going to be a critical piece, and ending all the speculation is certain to ease his mind and protect the team from any distractions.

Because again, the best way to describe Rajon Rondo is simply, "very good." And with the Celtics hoping to contend this year and beyond, the best way to describe the extension they gave him is simply, "smart."


Celtics, Rondo Reportedly Reach Agreement On New Contract

Yahoo!’s Marc Spears reports that the Celtics and Rajon Rondo reached a deal in principal early Monday morning:

League sources said the extension is for five years and guarantees Rondo at least $55 million. With the two sides facing a Monday deadline to get a deal done, Duffy said he called Celtics president Danny Ainge on Sunday to inform him Rondo was prepared to play out his contract and become a restricted free agent next summer because they weren’t satisfied with the team’s previous offers. Ainge, however, surprised Duffy by responding that Rondo’s contract hopes would be met.

“As much as we were willing to wait his contract out, the Celtics stepped up to the plate to meet the original request,” Duffy said by phone. “This is a really fair contract. We wanted him to be paid like one of the top five point guards around. It also allows the Celtics to maintain continuity to continue to be one of the best teams at this time.”


Celtics And Rondo Expected To Talk Sunday Night

ESPN’s Mark Stein reports:

Although the past few days have been mostly quiet on the contract front for Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, both sides are expected to connect Sunday for one last attempt to come together on a new deal before Monday’s deadline for contract extensions for members of the 2006 draft class, according to sources close to the process.

But further discussion between the parties, one source said, were not expected until after the Celtics’ home game Sunday night against New Orleans.

Before the Celtics hosted the Hornets on Sunday evening, Rondo said that he isn’t thinking about the deadline and hasn’t even spoken to his agent Bill Duffy recently.

"I ain’t called him at all," Rondo told reporters. "He calls me. I don’t call him. If he has anything, he’ll call me. I’m focused on the season. It’s not like I’m worried about the contract. I had a tough first week. I can’t really be selfish and focus on myself when I’ve got Mo Williams, Raymond Felton, Chris Paul and Derrick Rose. It wouldn’t be fair to my team if I was thinking about that right now."

Obviously, we'll know more by tomorrow, but in the meantime, this tweet (after a particularly pretty pass from Rondo in New Orleans) was pretty funny:



Rondo Wants To Spend His Career In Boston, But Calls It 'Unlikely'

Rajon Rondo spoke to Boston’s WEEI recently, and had this to say when asked whether he thought he’d finish his career in Boston:

“Hopefully for my career, but it’s very unlikely because it’s like five guys that’ve played in the NBA for their entire career. Paul [Pierce] is one of them. You’ve got guys like Ray [Allen] and Kevin [Garnett] that are future Hall of Famers that haven’t been on the same team their entire careers.

“It’s unlikely [I finish in Boston] but I want to.“

The deadline for members of the 2006 draft class to sign extensions is tomorrow, November 2nd. If Rondo and the Celtics can’t come to terms on a deal, Rondo will become a restricted free agent after this season.


NBA Extends The Deadline, Doc Says Rondo 'A Celtic For Life'

Late Thursday, it was announced that the NBA had extended the deadline for members of the 2006 Draft Class to sign contract extensions. Previously, the deadline for Rajon Rondo and the Celtics was Saturday, but with the recent announcement, Boston now has until Monday to negotiate with its star point guard, Rajon Rondo.

From Real GM:

The NBA has pushed the deadline for contract extensions for all players from the 2006 draft class from Saturday to Monday, league spokesman Tim Frank confirmed Thursday night to ESPN.

NBA front-office sources told that all 30 teams were notified via league memorandum earlier this week that the league’s annual Oct. 31 deadline for players in the fourth year of their rookie-scale contracts, according to the collective-bargaining agreement, is moved to the next available business day if the deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or federal holiday.

Celtics head coach Doc Rivers spoke about the situation earlier this week, and had said he’s not particularly concerned about the implications of the current discussions, as both sides want to keep Rondo in Boston. From Sports Radio Interviews, Doc talks Rondo:

On if he thinks Rajon Rondo is a top-5 point guard in the NBA:

"I think he is. I think it fluctuates, obviously. Definitely top 10. Honestly, I don’t know who is in the top 10 when I say this. I’m biased because I coach him every day. I think he’s done a wonderful job this summer working on his weaknesses. … The regular season, he’s going to keep getting better. And then the big test for Rondo is during the playoffs, as you know, and how they defend him. But I think he’s better equipped now to handle that. I just love what he did. He put in hours a day working on that shot and working with Mark Price. And you can see the effects coming through right now."

On if he thinks a new deal will be reached between Rondo and the organization before Saturday night:

"I have no idea. Obviously, I think both sides are working to get that done. I think if it happens, it’s great. If it doesn’t, I don’t think it affects either side. Like I said before, I believe he’ll be a Celtic for life whether he gets this deal done by October 31st or not."

Indeed, Doc seems mighty confident that Rondo will be content to stay in Boston for the long haul. But that may be a bit presumptuous. You have to consider that Rondo’s a very good player, but in Boston, he’s looked upon strictly as a complimentary piece next to Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen—even if the actual games belie that perception.

When Danny Ainge tried to trade him this past summer, it’s reasonable to assume that some damage was done to Rondo’s relationship with the team, a relationship further plagued by the team’s refusal to offer Rondo an extension commensurate with the best players in his class. None of us know what, if any, kind of grudge Rondo may hold against Boston management for these things, but to pretend they have no effect and that this relationship is great seems a bit unrealistic. Doc may ultimately be proven right in his optimistic prognosis for Rondo’s future in Boston, there’s equal chance he’ll proven naive, if you ask me.


Rondo Contract Talks Not Dead Yet?

While it's been considered a foregone conclusion that Rajon Rondo would not sign a contract extension with the Boston Celtics and become a restricted free agent in 2010, Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears is reporting that some eleventh hour attempts from the Celtics may pique the fourth-year guard's interest. From Spears:

Agent Bill Duffy said Celtics president Danny Ainge restarted talks by expressing a willingness to improve a possible offer to Rondo during a meeting at halftime of Boston’s 95-89 win in Cleveland on Tuesday. On Monday, Duffy told Yahoo! Sports that Rondo would not sign a contract extension with the Celtics and would become a restricted free agent next summer. The deadline for a possible extension is Saturday.

"Our position was firm, but Danny Ainge reached out and said they were willing to move," Duffy told Yahoo! Sports in a phone interview. "Our mind was made up on this. But he said, ‘Let’s try to talk again, let us put some stuff together and talk [Wednesday].’ "

Duffy said Ainge reached out to him Tuesday morning via text message to see if they could talk at halftime of the Cleveland game. During the meeting, Duffy said Ainge spoke of an improved counterproposal from their previous contract talks.

"If the Celtics are willing to move, we’ll entertain it," Duffy said.

Duffy has told Yahoo! Sports that Rondo merits a contract worthy of a top-five point guard. A source, however, said Rondo is seeking a five-year deal in the $55 million to $65 million range.

Keep in mind: last week, another member of Rondo's draft class (LaMarcus Aldridge) signed an extension worth $65 million, himself. And, well, Rondo's better than Aldridge, and probably more valuable to the Celtics. The Celtics have until Saturday to agree to terms with Rondo on an extension, or they'll have to contend with bidders on the open market this summer, while retaining the right to match any offer that Rondo receives, because he's a restricted free agent.

It's a tricky situation, too, as both sides are dealing with a certain amount of risk. For Rondo, testing the open market is dicey, if only because his unorthodox game doesn't necessarily scream "franchise building block!" and his cause can only be hurt by the barren economy plaguing most of the NBA's franchises. On the other hand, despite his unorthodox means, Rondo proved at the end of last year (and again last night) that he's one of the most strangely effective players in the NBA, and ruthlessly efficient at that.

With the Celtics aging, signing the 23 year-old point guard--a position that the new NBA rules have made more valuable than ever--would provide some much-needed insurance for the future. Is it worth commiting a big salary, or will the Celtics be content to gamble, hoping that a conservative market leads Rondo to accept a more modest salary?

It's a complicated question--made moreso when you consider the damage Boston did to Rondo's psyche when they openly put him on the trading block earlier this summer. Whatever the answer, we should find out within the next few days what Danny Ainge and the Celtics plan to do.

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