Elsewhere in the same article, the Globe focuses on Rajon Rondo, who had a breakout season last year (did you watch the playoffs?) and will be up for a new contract after this season. Asked whether he was optimistic about the upcoming contract negotiations, Rondo replied, "Not really. I’m just playing it out, trying to get better every day.’’ Well, then.
So much for optimism. To be fair, the Celtics did try to trade Rondo earlier this offseason, and just months after he’d performed heroically for them in the playoffs. There’s been speculation that despite Rondo’s blossoming play on the court, his locker room presence is what prompted GM Danny Ainge and the rest of the Celtics brass to explore trade scenarios rather than reward him with a sizable extension.
Still, this is a crossroads for the Celtics; it’s fitting that in a article dedicated to the progress of their worn-down superstar, who basically was injured with “residual effects of 1,000 games” last season, Rondo’s contract comes up. He is, after all, the team’s only young star, and would have to be considered the most intriguing piece of any future Celtics championship. In a league where the rules favor point guards, Rondo and his unorthodox skill set will certainly be an asset for years to come.
But how valuable an asset? And if he’s a problem in the locker room, maybe the Celtics are willing to let another team ponder the cost. In any case, for the present, Garnett’s on track to return, and the Celtics seemed primed for a run at the 2010 Championship. After that, though, the future is considerably less certain, and Rondo is at the center of it all.