What does the future hold for Rajon Rondo and the Celtics?

Over the last week there has been a lot of buzz surrounding Rajon Rondo and his role with the Boston Celtics.  News came that the Celtics President of Operations, Danny Ainge, offered him a contract extension with the team that was denied (as expected)

“In the collective bargaining agreement, there are limits on what can and can’t be done,” said Ainge.
“Really, it’s not that Rondo doesn’t want to accept an extension, as much as it’s just not financially smart for him to accept it right now. We didn’t think he would [sign], but we did try.”

Initially the news led some fans to question what Rondo’s long term intentions were with the team. Was he in this for the long haul as the newly named captain or was this a way for Ainge to say “we made him a deal, he denied it so now we must move forward” and go through with another multi-team trade later in the year? Thinking with Rondo’s interest in mind, it really wouldn’t be a smart move to sign with the team right now.

His best bet (and what the team expected) is to wait until summer and see what his options are. Boston currently has two potential extension options for Rondo. One of which is a three year, $44.8 million extension added to the end of his current contract, without a signing bonus. That would pay him right around $12.9 million in 2014-2015, $13.9 million in 2015 – 2016, $14.9 million for 2016 – 2017 and $16 million for 2017 – 2018 campaign. Boston can go another route by applying a signing bonus of $6.6 million, which then would cause his salaries to drop to $11.7 million, $12.5 million, and $13.4 million for the 3 additional seasons, respectively. Either option would be a good deal for Rondo. It would offer him team security, and a chance at another big contract at the end of this season, since he’d only be 32 years old when the contract expires. After this season he would also become eligible for a ‘no trade clause’, similar to what veteran Kevin Garnett had written into his contract. You probably find yourself questioning why in the world would Rondo take the second offer of a lower salary, well think about it; accepting less money gives Ainge the ability to build around Rondo with other top of the line players. After being off the court for nearly a year Rondo is back, and is an excellent value to the team. Which is proven by hearing his name consistently in the trade buzz, an extension this summer keeps him as a valuable asset.

Letting Rondo become an unrestricted free agent should be a scary thought for the franchise, as a Bird Rights free agent after this current season Rondo could demand a five year max contract that would put him in line for a $100 million, a price tag I’m pretty sure Boston wouldn’t want to see. Ainge admitted Thursday that he doesn’t think signing Rajon will come cheap since the competition for Rondo on a roster will be very high, but both sides have motivation to make a deal.

If this talk alone wasn’t enough to boost your belief that Rondo could see a long term career in green, Rondo acknowledged recent talks with the organization about his time left in Boston

 “I like to stick to the script, I don’t like change much. I wouldn’t mind staying here the rest of my career. Things don’t always seem to go that way, but like I said before, it’s just a business. I wouldn’t mind extending another 10 years in Boston.”

When told that Ainge reported that Rajon could request “star money” to continue with the team, Rondo laughed and replied “I’m making star money now, really. Its a good living.” Even though word is out about current talks with Rondo, Both sides agree that the best bet for both parties is to wait until the end of the current season before escalating more conversation at an extension. Rondo admitted his agent will be handling all the money talk, so all us Celtic fans can do is cross our fingers and see what’s in store for the future.

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