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What does Eric Bledsoe's contract mean for Rajon Rondo's negotiations with the Celtics?

If his agent has anything to say about it, it means a lot.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, after a full offseason of waiting till the last minute, restricted free agent point guard Eric Bledsoe got a huge contract extension from the Suns.

Phoenix Suns Sign Eric Bledsoe to 5 year, $70 million Deal - Bright Side Of The Sun

After nearly three months of free agency, with apparently little to no progress being made on negotiations in which the two sides were reportedly apart by over $30 million, a deal has finally been agreed upon that will make Eric Bledsoe a Phoenix Sun for the next five years, at a salary that will average $14 million per season. According to Yahoo! Sports, the deal is fully guaranteed for all five years with no player options. Although the Suns initial offer to Bledsoe which was reported to be 4 years and $48 million was thought to be fair market value by most NBA analysts, bloggers, and columnists, Bledsoe and his agent, Rich Paul, were pushing for the full max deal of 5 years and over $80 million.

Since he's a big name point guard free agent, it is hard not to draw a dotted line to Rajon Rondo's impending free agency coming up next summer.  If Bledsoe got $70M, what will Rondo get?

A rumor that surfaced earlier this summer indicates that Rondo wants $100M.  That didn't come directly from Rondo or his camp, but rather from radio personality Cedric Maxwell.

Is Rajon Rondo Looking For a $100 Million Extension? - Celtics Blog -

"Rumor has it that Rondo has asked for a $100 million extension," Maxwell told Yahoo! Sports Radio. "If you go out, you’ve got Smart, the young kid, and you’ve got [James] Young, the other kid from Kentucky, both guards. And in the NBA system right now, the way they’re being paid, you would pay both those guys probably about $4 million for one year instead of the $100 million right now that Rondo wanted to ask for."

At this point I feel it is important to point out a few things.  First, Rondo has been in the league for more years than Bledsoe, so the Max contract he can get next offseason is higher than the max that Bledsoe could have gotten (not all max contracts are made alike).  The collective bargaining agreement stipulates that someone with Rondo's years of experience could get close to $105M next summer.  I think if you are Rondo's agent, of course that's going to be your starting point.

Rondo can only get 4 years from another team, so if he wishes to walk away from Boston, the most he can get is roughly $80M.  I'm of the opinion that some team somewhere will offer him $80M over 4 years (the max) based on the influx of TV money that is going to raise the salary cap next season.  All it takes is one to set the market.

So it may not even matter how Eric Bledsoe compares with Rajon Rondo.  The floor is probably $80M and if Rondo wants to stay in Boston, he'll get somewhere north of that from the Celtics.  He can always recoup the 5th year by playing out his contract and earning another extension, but the risk is that he might get hurt and never see that 5th year.  So I wouldn't be too shocked to see him agree to something in the range of $90M over 5 years.

Given all that, I think you can make arguments about weather Rondo is "worth" that kind of money or if he's in the long term plans for the Celtics or whatever.  But the market is what it is and free agents get paid big bucks.  Expect Rondo (assuming good health and a good year) to get paid.

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