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Rondo Agrees To $55M Extension

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Celtics give Rondo $55 million extension - NBA - Yahoo! Sports

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."

I couldn't be happier for the guy and for the team.  I understand the value of getting the lowest contract terms possible to build a team within the financial constraints of the salary cap and all that.  But at the end of the day, the sides were just a few million apart and it seems like the Celtics decided to pay the extra 5 million or so to get it done.  Hats off to Bill Duffy who did his client well.

I think that Rondo has proven that he's a very competitive player and that he'll work hard to continue improving and pushing for another championship, despite the fact that he's now set for life (provided he doesn't follow Antoine's lead).

Considering the market for other players, I'd say the deal was pretty fair.

Rondo's new deal averages $11 million a season, the same amount San Antonio Spurs All-Star point guard Tony Parker earned when he signed a six-year, $66 million extension to his rookie contract in 2004. Among members of Rondo's 2006 rookie class, Portland Trail Blazers All-Star guard Brandon Roy received a five-year, $80 million contract extension. The Blazers also gave forward LaMarcus Aldridge a five-year, $65 million extension.

And if the Celtics overpaid by $5M to get it done, that's worth it to me considering the fact that there was always that risk that he would have gotten a max offer on the (restricted) open market next year.  Sure, some restricted free agents have mostly been getting less money in the market this year, but that doesn't mean next year will be the same (especially with the new collective bargaining agreement coming up).  By locking Rondo up, the Celtics managed their risk.

Rondo is one of the best point guards in the game and he's a critical piece to the championship hopes of this current core group of veterans.  Of course (Lord willing) he'll be playing long after this group retires and for the Celtics he represents a critical building block for the future.  As long as Perk's body holds up, we've got a solid center and a top notch point guard to build a team around.

This move also appears to lock the Celtics into a strategy that does not involve being players in the free agent market next year (except with the MLE).  It also might make them more willing to take on short term salary via trade in order to upgrade the talent level of the team for the next 2 to 3 years.  Hopefully it also marks the end of the Rondo trade rumors as well (at least for the near future).

As a big Rondo fan, I've got a big smile on my face today.  As a Celtics fan, I can only hope that whatever maturity issues he's had in the past remain in the past.  It worked for Paul Pierce and it could work for Rondo.  I hope they are both Celtics for life.

See updates here.