Is Rondo Planning His Escape?

Obviously there is all kinds of news surrounding Boston’s star point guard. There always is. It’s Rondo. And with Danny "Trade Them All" Ainge at the helm, Rondo will always be a hot topic.

But recently, it hasn’t been trades that have been the talk of Boston. Danny Ainge sat down with Rajon Rondo recently to talk contract extensions. This seemed like an extremely promising sign since it is Rondo’s last year of his contract and I’d love to see him stick around in Boston for a few hundred more years.

Well, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN, those talks didn’t go anywhere, and that spells doom for the Celtics:

"Though he is not looking to get out of Boston, Rajon Rondo was quick to kill talk of an extension when recently approached by Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. It didn't even get to the numbers stage. Rondo is looking forward to becoming an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career in the summer of 2015. It's not that he's dead set on leaving Boston, but he wants to keep his options open in terms of both winning and money. Ainge has to decide whether he wants to gamble on the possibility of re-signing Rondo or trade him around the 2014 draft or before next season's trade deadline."

That certainly got people in Boston worried. Then just yesterday, this tweet came out from Celtics beat writer Jay King:


Oh man! What could this mean!? Is Rondo planning to ditch and get the hell out of Boston!?

I was in this boat, this very quickly sinking boat. Thoughts of Rondo running away from Boston in free agency for greener pastures - that phrases doesn’t even make sense here! The Celtics are green! Scratch that - leave for better money and a better team, haunted me. I didn’t want to have to witness everyone I loved on this team leave in a two year period. Seriously how horrible would that be?

But, let me calm you, just as I calmed myself.

For starters, Rondo has never expressed any desire to leave Boston. In fact he recently said he wants to stay:

"I wouldn’t mind staying here the rest of my career. I wouldn’t mind extending another 10 years."

That’s got to calm you down at least a little bit.

Mr. Broussard, while I understand where you are coming from, I think you’ve looked past a pretty big part of this extension rejection. If Rondo were to extend now, he would be limiting the amount of money that he could make by staying in Boston. This doesn’t mean he’s planning to ditch the team, in fact, Ainge agreed that it makes the most sense for all parties to wait on Rondo’s extension.

Here’s the breakdown of Rondo’s proposed extension:

  • The extension would be limited to 4 years, and around $59 million
  • The extension would start immediately, canceling out Rondo's salary for next year, so really it would be a three-year, $46 million extension on top of the $13 million he is already owed next season
  • If he waits for the off-season, Rondo will be in-line to get an offer of around 5 years, $95 million from the Celtics
  • Rondo has the opportunity to make $108 million over the next six seasons if he waits and the Celtics give him the max

If Rondo were to sign the extension now, he would be forfeiting nearly $50 million. That is a lot of money and you can bet that was a big reason in Rondo’s decision to sit and wait. He’s not secretly making plans to ditch, he just wants to make sure that he gets paid, which I have no problems with.

Now to Jay King’s tweet: "Rondo said the recruitment aspect of free agency intrigues him."

Again, queue freak out. But if we calm ourselves down and look at this, he maybe saying something completely different.

For the first time in his career, this is Rondo’s team. Pierce and KG are gone and have handed the reigns willingly over to Rondo. This is Rondo’s team and everyone in the NBA knows that. Rondo is heading to this years offseason with the team behind him and the respect of Pierce and KG, which goes a long way in the NBA. He even has Kobe Bryant on his side, even if he has an odd way of showing it. With all this respect and leadership, maybe he wants to recruit players to Boston.

It happened with Ray Allen and KG. Paul Pierce was the key to getting KG to come out to Boston and he did it again in convincing KG to drop his no trade clause and move with Paul out to Brooklyn. This could be what intrigues Rondo. He wants to go out into the offseason and convince great players and his friends to come out and play in Boston. If this is true, then we could be seeing some real talent come out to Boston which would be a welcome sight.

Obviously the flip side is that Broussard was right and Rondo wants to get out into free agency and be sought after by all the teams in the NBA. But that thought depresses me.

So don’t dwell on that.

Let’s dwell on the idea that Rondo will get the max contract he deserves, and then will help the Celtics go out and build another big three. And they’ll win us another championship. Wouldn’t that be sweet?

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