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The deadline for the Celtics and Rajon Rondo to come to an agreement on a contract extension is Oct. 31, and neither side has shed much light on the progress of the negotiations.
Over the weekend, Rondo declined comment on the status of the talks. Last night at Madison Sqaure Garden, he expressed some doubt about whether the two sides could come to an agreement in the next 10 days. Rondo, who would become a restricted free agent in July if no agreement is reached, told ESPN's Chris Broussard:
"I have no idea whether we'll get something done. It's not something I'm worried about. It's just not a big deal right now. Of course, I'd like to get it done, but if it doesn't happen, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it ...
"... My agent's got a certain number in mind and if they don't reach that, we'll just wait," he said. "I feel like if we win another title, obviously that helps my chances [of getting more money]."
Doc Rivers also talked about Rondo's status last night, saying that he didn't expect it to be a distraction during the season.
"I don't care about [contract talks]," Rivers said. "That will be something that will be handled. I'm not concerned about it. I don't think it will affect us. Last year it made more of an issue."
Along with the Rondo situation, Celtics executive director of basketball operations and general manager, Danny Ainge also has to decide whether to pick up the team option for J.R. Giddens.
He said earlier in the week that he wouldn't make make an announcement about those decisions until the end of the month. "I'll let you know when we make those decisions," Ainge said. "But there's a lot that goes into them all."
A couple other items:
- The Cs will likely shoot around less this season, keeping them fresher and sharper for games. Rivers said the decision had a lot to do with advice he got on sleep deprivation during the offseason, which USA Today detailed: "The night of a game, Rivers usually doesn't get to bed until 3-4 a.m. 'You get to the practice facility by 9 the next morning, so you're tired and probably grouchy,' he says. To cope with that problem, he brought in Harvard Medical School professor Charles Czeisler to deal with sleep deprivation issues. That led to practices that now generally start at noon or 1 p.m. and the creation of what Rivers says is 'Celtics Time.' The 3 a.m.-11 a.m. timeframe is a blackout period to let everyone get rested and recharged.'
- It looks like the league could reach an agreement with its regular referees, Howard Beck writes for the New York Times. "The contract must be ratified by a majority of the union's 57 referees, with a vote scheduled for Friday. A person with direct knowledge of the negotiations predicted the deal would be approved, ending a lockout that began Sept. 18."