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Rajon Rondo offered contract extension by Celtics, says he wouldn’t mind finishing his career in Boston

Jan 25, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

Rajon Rondo AP

Celtics GM Danny Ainge revealed earlier this week that the team offered Rajon Rondo a contract extension roughly a month ago, one which the All-Star point guard politely declined.

Ainge wasn’t surprised that the offer was turned down, and in fact he seemed to expect it.

From CBS Boston (via SB Nation):

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

Before Boston lost to a Thunder team playing without Kevin Durant on Friday, Rondo said that despite his refusal to sign an extension at this time, he wouldn’t mind finishing out his career with the Celtics.

From Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe:

“I like to stick to the script,” Rondo said before the Celtics played the Oklahoma City Thunder Friday night at TD Garden. “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.”

It’ll largely be up to the Celtics whether or not Rondo stays that long if he feels this way, considering the team will have the ability to offer him an extra year on a max contract if that’s the direction they wish to pursue.

Boston offering Rondo the extension along with his subsequent comments are just two more reasons to be skeptical that the Celtics are interested in trading Rondo as part of their rebuilding process.

Teams need stars to anchor the beginnings of any winning tradition, and Boston already has a known quantity in Rondo who wants to be there, and one who’s been a part of a championship in the city in the not-too-distant past.

  1. spthegr8 - Jan 25, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    “I wouldn’t mind” doesn’t sound as good as ” I want to stay here for the rest of my career and retire a Celtic” I’m Just Sayin”!!!! IMO, they should trade Rondo and just start completely over from scratch. I mean they have all of Brooklyn pick’s for the next 20 yrs. All the report’s I have read about him, he is a head case and tough to get along with. Now take those report’s with a grain of salt but, you know the old saying” where there is smoke, there is fire”. If he couldn’t be controlled by Doc and 3 HOF’s. What’s gonna happen with a bunch of rookie’s and a young coach, who isn’t proven yet..??? I’m no fortune teller but it probably won’t turn out good!!

    • sellahh - Jan 25, 2014 at 4:05 PM

      Oh, rly?

  2. legend30 - Jan 25, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    This is similar to the Luol Deng and Chicago Bulls situation. Deng rejected Bulls offer, then got traded. Could the samething happen to Rondo?

  3. joro5551 - Jan 25, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    Bigger question is, is Rondo worth the max? What should he expect on an open market that just opened the vault doors for Josh Smith?

    • therealhtj - Jan 25, 2014 at 6:13 PM

      If he comes back at 90% of the player he was pre-injury, someone maxes him out. He’s not coming back if Boston doesn’t offer at least that.

  4. billtetley53 - Jan 25, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    I am amazed at the level of ignorance of some nba “fans”.

  5. csbanter - Jan 25, 2014 at 5:50 PM

    Rondo to Sacramento for Isiah Thomas and the Kings 2014 draft pick. Rondo, Gay and Cousins , seems like a good fit.

    • coachjac30 - Jan 25, 2014 at 6:47 PM

      Donny Marshall said this trade was in the works a month or so again: Rondo for Thomas, McLemore, Thornton and 2 2nd rd picks. I think I would do this is I were the C’s

  6. j0esixpack - Jan 25, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    Ainge still needs to see if Rondo is back to full health. Offering him an extension is a show of interest and good faith – but it also raises Rondo’s trade value if another team is interested, sending a message that Ainge is confident in Rondo’s health

    As a Celtics fan, signing Rondo suggests a shorter rebuilding process than if they trade him. Rondo is probably open to playing anywhere as long as a team gives him a max deal

    This doesn’t rule out a trade but it does raise Robdo’s trade price. But if he’s healthy I expect he’ll stay.

    • coachjac30 - Jan 25, 2014 at 6:45 PM

      Now I disagree, I think keep Rondo will end up leading to a longer rebuilding process. Of course, that all depends on other moves, but with the current roster and draft pick allotment, I think all keeping Rondo does is keep you in the 6-10 spot in the Eastern Conference without a real sot at winning a title. Now if they keep (and resign) him, and they go out and get a couple of other pieces somewhere/somehow, then it is possible for them to compete sooner. No major, young free agents want to sign in Boston, meaning you either need to draft or trade for such a player, or end up with a similar situation as Garnett (an older player with a 4 year window).

      • j0esixpack - Jan 25, 2014 at 9:07 PM

        Um – yeah, thanks.

        I don’t think too many NBA fans think Ainge’s Master Plan is to keep Rondo and the existing roster and compete for the championship.

        In case you hadn’t heard, Ainge has stockpiled a ton of high draft picks and can use some, and trade others for players.

        He also has cleared tons of cap space for free agents.

        In other words, Ainge has the ammunition to pretty much get just about any player or players available who he wants..

        So rest easy – signing Rondo isn’t the beginning and end of the rebuilding process – though it’s an important step if they expect to compete sooner rather than later – otherwise they wouldn’t waste the money signing him.

      • coachjac30 - Jan 25, 2014 at 9:49 PM

        Ainge has a ton of picks, but i wouldn’t exactly say they are “high” picks. If Rondo is as good as we think he is, he is more than capable of making this team a playoff contender in a dreadful East, meaning you aren’t in the lottery. Do you really expect the Clippers pick to be any higher than 24th? Do you really think the Nets are just going to allow themselves to become a complete disaster? They have Pierce’s money coming off the books after this year, and Garnetts if he retires. Their owner will spend at will and its a favorable market to attracting free agents. What this all means is the “high” picks are really going to be all picks outside the lottery.

        The cap space you speak of, isn’t as great as you would think for next year, and there are lots of teams clearing the necessary cap space for the free agent run after this year and next. No free agent in their prime, that will help you or make you, become a championship team has ever signed with Boston.

        If they keep Rondo (which i believe they will) that only slows down the process. You can’t go from being a middle of the road team, without being a major free agent destination, to championship contender.

        They have 25 mill available to spend next year, and 50 mill the following year, when Rondo’s deal is up. If they resign him to a max deal, now you have 30 mill. The 2015 free agency isn’t anything special except for Aldridge and Love, both of which will be targets of teams like LA, Dallas, Chicago, Phoenix…

        My point is, lets say you resign Rondo and you get some really good players from the draft. You are 5 years out of championship contention, which means you’ll be using a 32 year old point guard, with 1 year left on his deal and a history of being a headache.

        Having money, or a player to attract free agents (which i don’t believe Rondo to be) is nice, but it takes two to tango.

  7. coachjac30 - Jan 25, 2014 at 6:47 PM


  8. coachjac30 - Jan 25, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    The biggest thing to me that says he is staying, at least until his contract runs up, is the fact the Celtics named him Captain. For such a story franchise to place the C on someones shirt and just turn around and trade them immediately seems impossible. Danny was doing the smart thing trying to negotiate an extension now because it wouldn’t have cost too much money, and Rondo did the right thing saying “not now”. I think when his contract runs up the C’s will probably offer him a max deal and have him as the face of the franchise for the next 10 years.

  9. j0esixpack - Jan 26, 2014 at 12:02 AM

    The list of fans here who think they’d make a better GM than actual GMs is a long one

    I don’t think Ainge’s would sign Rondo to drag the team down, if indeed he stays

    • coachjac30 - Jan 26, 2014 at 1:03 AM

      Only speaking for myself, but I am not saying he would resign him only to drag the team down. I am saying that in my opinion, resigning him is going to make the rebuild, to a championship, take longer. I have the utmost faith in Ainge to do what is best for the franchise, as evidenced by the fact he traded away two of the most popular players the franchise has ever had.
      If he thinks resigning Rondo is whats best for the team, then so be it. Keeping or trading Rondo is not going to make me any less a fan of the team.

  10. adoombray - Jan 26, 2014 at 1:29 AM

    You need good players to win championships. Seriously. It’s crazy how that works. You keep your good players in order to win basketball games. Trading Rondo makes no sense. They have cap room and picks already. It doesn’t make the team better now or later to choose guaranteed losing and prayers like the other half of the east when the whole reason to tank is to get a guy like Rondo in the first place.

  11. coachjac30 - Jan 26, 2014 at 3:04 AM

    For all the “Keep Rondo because he’s your best player” arguments, how do you propose getting the other necessary pieces to be a championship contender while keeping, and then resigning him to a max deal?

    • adoombray - Jan 26, 2014 at 10:06 AM

      You stick to the gameplan. Olynyk and Sullinger are excellent players with sky high ceilings. They will make fine pieces to go with Rondo and Bradley, who was overmatched as a PG but is an excellent compliment guy to Rondo (kind of like how Boozer was actually pretty good for the Bulls with Rose there). There’s plenty of cap room there already and they have Brooklyns picks into the next decade along with assorted other assets.

      People talk about New York and LA like they are the only cool places in America but Boston is awesome. We see Rondo out on the town here. Nobody messes with him. He buys people drinks and yeah he’s scowling in the pictures he takes with us but you can be a normal human being here as a superstar.

      I think the “trade Rondo people” don’t realize that the Celtics are already halfway done with the rebuilding and don’t need to deconstruct to improve.

      • j0esixpack - Jan 26, 2014 at 2:04 PM

        Tough to say what type of careers they’ll have but they could very well be part of the puzzle.

        I think the point here is that coachjac30’s logic fails as you look to Ainge’s last rebuilding.

        He had far less ammunition and fewer good players on the team already.

        He kept Pierce with a max deal, drafted for Rondo at 21 (NOT a high draft pick) then traded for Ray Allen, Kevin Garnet and rounded out the roster with a number of existing or new good role players including Perkins, Big Baby (a 2nd round draft choice), House and a few others.

        If one wants to attract marquee players via free agency or trade, you can’t expect to do that with no good players on the roster. Having one of the league’s better point guards can be attractive to any player know their PPG stats increase with a PG who averages double digit assists.

      • coachjac30 - Jan 26, 2014 at 2:59 PM

        I think you’re going a little overboard on the Olynyk hype, the guy should have a good NBA career, but “sky high ceiling” is a little too much. If you resign Bradley (who wants a 9/10 mill deal) there goes some more of your cap space.

        The next big time free agent that signs in boston will be the first, so don’t hold your breathe waiting for that to happen.

        Brooklyn is not going to be as abysmal as everyone seems to think. That owner will spend money so what makes everyone think they are just going to be crap?

        If you just want a team to maybe make the playoffs, with no real chance at a championship, then you are right, you are already halfway there.

      • adoombray - Feb 4, 2014 at 6:38 PM

        @ joesixpack ; he’ll make a fine 6th man rotational type. I’m not sure what you mean by “buying into the hype” – I don’t pay attention to hype I watch basketball. If I paid attention to hype all I’d do is criticize any team that wins basketball games and doesn’t think they can sweep the heat for a ring. Olynyk a lanky stretch 4 who brings energy to the table and looks fun to play with, is a good passer and has excellent range for a big man.

        Sullinger is a starter and is already the “PF of the future”. Watch the games. We love him here for his work ethic and toughness. He’s a core big with strong games on both sides of the floor and is practically immovable. watching Big Baby needing to flop against him when the C’s played Orlando was hilarious.

        Bradley is worth 9/10 mill as the #2 when sullinger is option 3. This again a situation where cap space for cap space is silly ; it’s for resigning your guys that are worth it.

        The Celtics are a center / tough defender away from competing in the Eastern Conference, especially since the other half of it is “tanking” – losing intentionally and praying for luck to get them out of it, instead of building winning cultures and developing what you know you already have.

      • adoombray - Feb 4, 2014 at 6:40 PM

        also: thanks for the history lesson. Drafting Rondo and trading for KG and Ray Allen are completely irrelevent to the current discussion. This is a completely different roster and a completely different scenario in the East – in 2014, a torn LeBron ACL or a Paul George knee explosion is all it takes to make the trip to the finals easy.

    • j0esixpack - Jan 26, 2014 at 10:33 AM

      You make it sound like it would be impossible to keep Rondo and build a championship contender.

      “How do you do it”?

      There’s a half a dozen ways. One of which could be similar to a few years back when the Celtics were in the cellar – yet Ainge for some bizarre reason had a former #10 pick Paul Pierce signed to a max deal

      Wiht not much more on the team than a very young player named Rajon Rondo who he drafted at #21, and fewer commodities than he has now, Ainge – mainly through trades and free agency – was able to quickly build not just a championship contender – but an actual championship team in far less than 5 seasons.

      So basically the Year 2007 called and wants to remind you that it can be done.

      Now if Ainge is just using smoke and mirrors to increase perceptions that he views Rondo as fully healthy to increase his trade value, I’m fine with that too – but if Ainge plans on building around Rondo, it’s because he thinks it HELPS the team rebuild QUICKER, not slower.

      • coachjac30 - Jan 26, 2014 at 3:22 PM

        I never said impossible, I said it would take longer. If you want to keep Rondo, maybe make the playoffs, use your non lottery picks this year, then HOPE and PRAY that you sign a really good free-agent, then so be it.

        I realize that if Ainge resigns Rondo its because he thinks that’s the right thing to do. If he didn’t he has no right be a GM. However, you said resigning him makes it a quicker rebuild, and I disagree. I’ve shown my reasons why, but all you’ve said is”it can be done” “remember 2007”.

        When they traded for Ray Allen they gave up a 1st rd pick ( 5th) Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West.
        For Garnett they gave up Al Jeff, Ratliff (expiring contract) Gerald Green, Telfair, Gomes and 2 1st rd picks.

        You think what this team has to offer, that other teams would take, is better?

  12. j0esixpack - Jan 26, 2014 at 6:14 PM

    Ainge has all of the Celtics future picks, all of the picks he’s picked up already, and in addition to the players he’s already traded, has other players who could actually contribute who might be of interest to other teams just as the various role players were of interest to teams in 2007

    Assuming the guards are set with Rondo and Bradly, and you can turn to one of your forward positions with a role player (or a wide body rather than tall body role player at center) then that leaves you really needing to fill two positions with the best player you can get.

    Perhaps one of them is addressed in this or a future draft (this draft being especially deep) and another through trade or free agency.

    Just as in 2007 I’d say you need a solid core of 4 players plus good role players.

    It’s really not a stretch to think that Ainge can assemble such a team – it all depends on who he’s targeting. I don’t expect LeBron to sign here when his contract’s up (though who knows) but Ainge could find good value in this draft where he stands, or he can move up substantially by packaging current and future picks.

    Sky’s the limit.

    All that being said it’s far from a perfect science – a great many teams *cough Nets* look great on paper but don’t play well as a team. Though they’re underperforming and have injuries, just the fact that the Nets were able to assemble those names in one year should be proof enough that one can gather some big names pretty quickly if you don’t think the Celtics “worst to first” season shows how quickly one can rebuild if all of the pieces fall into place.

    Actually 2007 remains a great example – when the Celts missed the #1 pick everyone thought their hopes of contending were over. It wound up being exactly the opposite, with those saying the #1 pick was essential having to eat their words.

  13. ghelton03 - Jan 27, 2014 at 12:17 AM

    Ainge’s history has been that anyone and everyone, who has turned down an offer is quickly traded. If it is true that Rondo turned down an offer, Ainge WILL dump him.

    • j0esixpack - Jan 27, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      Ainge also said he expected Rondo to reject the deal, as he did.

      He won’t be dumped. He’ll either be traded or re-signed.

      I suppose IF Rondo had accepted the deal that would have sent a message that Rondo was concerned about his knee and coming back to full health. That’s the only scenario in which Rondo would have accepted it and NOT waited to go after a max deal.

      By rejecting it, it’s a win win for Rondo and Ainge – especially if Rondo is still on the trading block (and let’s face it – EVERYONE on the Celtics is available for the right price.)

      Ainge has sent a message he’s interested in having Rondo back and knows he’s going to have to pay more when the time comes.

      But Ainge also has Rondo sending a message to all interested teams that his knee is in good shape and Rondo expects to be back to full health enough to deserve a max contract in the future.

      That’s all had the effect of increasing Rondo’s trade value.

  14. ghelton03 - Jan 27, 2014 at 12:21 AM

    Ainge’s ego is larger than his brain.

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