Once again, a writer with sources and the desire to publish an accurate story with proper perspective tells a story about Rajon Rondo that makes sense:
League sources say Ainge is not actively shopping Rondo, but like any good GM, he isn’t ignoring the phone calls, either. He’s only come close to trading Rondo once before, in a deal that would’ve landed him Chris Paul. To all other inquiries about his prized point guard, Ainge keeps saying the same thing: “No.”
An extension? Not now. After the NBA system was rigged for years to keep stars from leaving their teams, the rules now make it virtually impossible for a player in Rondo’s situation to sign an extension. This summer, with one year left on his deal, Rondo would be eligible for at most a two-year extension. Like Paul when he was traded to the Clippers in 2011, Rondo stands to get the longest, most lucrative deal by becoming a free agent in 2015 and re-signing with Boston.
You may turn on your radio and hear otherwise, but those people (a) have no inside knowledge of the team and (b) are only interested in drumming up controversy so you’ll keep listening and call in. So let the facts on Rajon Rondo be stated, unequivocally, as such:
1: Danny Ainge is not initiating any conversations about trading Rajon Rondo. That doesn’t mean Rondo won’t be traded this season. It means that Danny Ainge has a plan that involves seeing how the next season-and-a-half of Rajon Rondo will work out… but if a team calls and wows him with a deal, he’ll do it. This is what Ainge does with every player. Unless you have LeBron James or Kevin Durant, that’s how every GM probably approaches every player.
2: Rajon Rondo will not sign an extension before the summer of 2015. I know an extension would shut a lot of people up, but the Collective Bargaining Agreement makes signing one right now a stupid decision for Rajon Rondo. If he wants a max extension (let’s face it, who doesn’t? I want one too), then he’s going to have to wait and prove he’s worth one.
Those are the facts. Anyone who tells you anything different is either lying to you or is a blowhard trolling you for ratings or pageviews.
Where do we go from here? I don’t know.
There are distinctive camps in Boston when it comes to Rondo. I believe he can be a key piece to the future, and his behavior over the past year has been everything you’d want from a star player. He has seemingly developed a good relationship with Brad Stevens, and everyone in the locker room has said that Rondo has been an exemplary leader.
But now he’s playing, and he’s losing… and this is all pretty new to him. There are variables that no one can truly predict here. There exist possibilities that Rondo’s relationship with Stevens will sour in this new role. He could disagree with something somewhere, and everything could go to crap.
That is possible.
It’s also possible that the Rondo/Stevens relationship flourishes and, as pieces are moved and a viable team is constructed, Rondo emerges as a true leader worthy of a generous contract.
No one knows what will happen, despite whatever commenter/radio host/columnist assertions to the contrary.
The facts are the facts: The Celtics currently plan to move forward with at least another season-and-a-half of Rajon Rondo. They will give him an opportunity to fully recover from his knee injury, and then to prove that his capable of being the player of our best-case scenarios. In the meantime, he’ll answer the calls he’s supposed to answer.
Don’t let anyone tell you any differently.