BOSTON – There are few players in the NBA that know Rajon Rondo as well as former Celtic center Kendrick Perkins. The two became close friends during the five seasons they spent playing together in green from 2006 to 2011 and remain tight to this day.
Many people have theories on what Rondo’s long-term future in Boston will be, but few people are in “the know” like Perkins is when it comes to the point guard. So when the veteran center returned to the TD Garden as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday night, everyone listened closely closely when he spoke about what’s next for Boston’s star point guard.
“He should [stay],” Perkins replied when asked about Rondo’s impending free agency. “I think this is a great place for him. I think he wants to stay here. We talk on the regular. I think he should stay. If I was him, I’d stay.”
Perkins went into further detail about why he thinks Boston is the right fit for Rondo, even though he had trouble identifying some of Rondo’s teammates.
“I think it’s the perfect situation for him,” Perkins explained. “He’s got a good group of guys around him, a good young coach. It’s his team. He’s able to play the way he’s capable of playing. He’s almost averaging a triple-double.
“He’s got some good talent around him. [Jared] Sullinger, Jeff [Green], the young kid I can’t pronounce [his name] — with the long hair though [Kelly Olynyk]. He’s got some good talent around him.”
Rondo has stated repeatedly on the record that he hopes to remain in Boston when his current contract expires at the end of the season. A big factor in that equation will also be whether the Celtics can recruit additional free agents to play with Rondo and help build the team into the contender in future seasons. Perkins believes Boston’s roster is laying the groundwork for that process now.
“I’ll tell you what, the way they’ve started off this year, [next summer’s free agents] are probably looking at it because they’re playing pretty well,” he said. “You look at them, they’re playing team ball, playing hard, they’ve got some nice young talent. I wouldn’t see why guys wouldn’t want to come here and play. And the city’s great.”
Time will tell whether Perkins’ beliefs will ring true in that department, but he’ll be watching the Rondo saga closely as the season continues.
“[Rondo] wants to stay; I think he should. But you never know how it’ll work out.”