The fact that Rajon Rondo rejected the contract extension offered to him by the Boston Celtics doesn’t mean he isn’t going to play for them in the future. It just means that right now, it’s not the best thing for him to sign, even though he’s not ruling out staying with the franchise forever.
The Celtics offered Rondo and extension to his deal last month which he rejected. He has one more year left on his current deal, which pays him $12.9 million a season. It’s not clear how much the Celtics offered him, but it probably wasn’t a max deal, but you never know.
Ainge himself admits he didn’t expect Rondo to sign, but it was worth a try. It simply didn’t make sense, financially, for Rondo to sign an extension at the moment. Some would think that the form he’s shown since coming back from his injury (out for a year), averaging 5 points and 5.3 assists while shooting 26.5% from the field wasn’t exactly big-money worthy, but it’s only been a week for him since he’s returned.
Rondo? He says he wouldn’t mind spending the rest of his career with the Boston Celtics, which can mean a lot of things. It’s never too wise to read too much into what athletes and anyone in the sports business says; it tend to be easily breakable as a promise too many times.
The fact is that Rondo expects to be back in full form at some point this season or at least after a full training camp and offseason. At his best he’s one of the best point guards (most would agree) even though he doesn’t score like many of the other top names; Rondo contributes in other ways. He’ll be worth more than $12 million a season at that point.
But it’s not just the money. Seeing the state the Celtics are at the moment (15-30, not remotely close to the playoffs) he knows there’s some more rebuilding to do. If that situation doesn’t improve in the near future, he’ll start to look elsewhere for more money and a better chance of competing, something he’s used to do since joining the team in 2006, going to two NBA finals and winning one title.
The Celtics? Some suggest it’d be wise for them to five up on Rondo – trade him and get rid of the final piece from their successful years from 2008-2013, because by letting things remain as they are they risk losing him for nothing in free agency. That part of the spectrum suggests that Rondo isn’t worth that big money, because he won’t be able to lead the Celtics without stars playing next to him.