From Marc J. Spears:
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.”
Well, I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t expect that a deal would get done. I thought that Rondo and his agent were dead set on getting a chance at a huge pay day, but looks as if they settle for just a big one. Perhaps they were worried about the economy or the new collective bargaining agreement, but either way, both sides win.
The Boston Celtics lock up their point guard for the present and the future and no longer have any risk of him signing a maximum contract in the off-season. Rajon Rondo now has a long-term contract in place where he will be paid handsomely. With Rondo now locked up, the Celtics need to extend Kendrick Perkins and they will have solidified the two hardest positions to fill in basketball: point guard and center.
The one thing that many Celtic fans are worried about is the “Mark Blount Syndrome”. Now that Rondo has gotten his money, will his game plateau? Will he continue to work as hard as he has been on his game (specifically his jump shot) or will he be satisfied with his current skill set? Personally, I don’t think the veterans on this team will allow him to stop improving. The team’s title chances not only this season, but the next two or three as well, hinge on Rondo pacing the team and getting the playmakers the ball.
With this extension agreed upon and seemingly the Glen Davis situation blown over, it looks as if this team has gotten it’s off-court issues out of the way. Now it is time to continue to play at an extremely high level. Rondo no longer has to think about playing for a contract and perhaps will start being more aggressive on the offensive end knowing he doesn’t have to worry about showing an improvement on his jumper. With four games in five nights starting Tuesday, let’s see if Rondo shows us a little more offensive game over the next week.