The future of Rajon Rondo has been a hot topic of debate over the past few months as the Celtics attempt to navigate a rebuild of their roster. The point guard is entering the final year of a five-year, $55 million dollar contract next season and has stated multiple times on the record in recent weeks that his preference would be to remain in Boston long term.
While Rondo may want to stay in town, he also is reportedly looking for a sizable raise in his next contract, according to new comments made by Celtics’ radio color commentator Cedric Maxwell. The former Celtics big man told Yahoo! Sports Radio (h/t: WEEI) in an interview that he’s heard Rondo has asked for a big extension offer from Boston. That request, combined with the drafting of rookie Marcus Smart has led Maxwell to believe the team might move on in a different direction from the point guard.
“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.”
Maxwell continued: “So, if you’re a player or Rondo, you might want to – you know -- start calling that moving company and say, ‘Eh, come get my stuff. I don’t think I’m going to be here too long.’”
Due to the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, the Celtics couldn’t offer Rondo a maximum contract extension for $100 million this summer even if they wanted to. The best deal Boston can offer Rondo prior to next season is a three-year extension worth about $45 million over the length of a deal.
That’s not a sweet enough offer to entice Rondo to re-sign now, which makes it highly likely the guard won’t ink an extension with the team this summer. The extension request Maxwell is likely referring to in his interview is the deal Boston can offer next summer when Rondo’s contract expires.
At that point, the team could present their captain with a five-year contract worth nearly $105 million. Rondo’s reps may have indicated to the Celtics that this is the kind of deal the guard will be seeking. Other teams can only offer Rondo four-year deals if he hits free agency market in 2015 and roughly $80 million dollars over the duration of the deal.
So is Rondo worth $100 million dollars in his next contract? Maxwell gave his two cents on the matter in the same interview.
“It depends on the system, where you go, and what time it is,” Maxwell explained. “Can Rondo go in and help another team, a good team? I think Rondo could be a key piece to winning a championship. For a team right now that is struggling, I think they would struggle [with Rondo]...that wouldn’t be the [right] case for $100 million.”
Boston doesn’t have to make a decision on Rondo’s future anytime soon. If they do decide to trade the point guard this summer, his rumored price tag could be a major reason why.