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“I think Rondo’s going to have a great year next year,” Ainge said. “I think he’s going to have the best year of his career. Watching Rondo right now and watching him develop as a player I feel like he’s headed towards the best year of his career.”
Rondo has been mentioned several times in trade rumors this season. When asked if there was a good possibility Rondo would be with the Celtics next year, Ainge said, “Of course.”
When asked if he has spoken with Rondo about the guard’s long-term future in Boston, Ainge said: “Listen, I tell everybody the same, whether it’s KG [Kevin Garnett], Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, whatever, I really love and respect all the guys but I can’t ever promise anybody that [a trade] won’t happen. That’s not my job. My job is not assure them [they’re staying] but to do what I think is best for the Celtics. I don’t have an intention or plan [to trade Rondo] but I can never make that sort of promise.
“I don’t know who’s going to be in a Celtics uniform. We have a lot of work to do this summer. I think Rondo is our best player.”
With the Celtics missing the playoffs, Rondo will get some extra time to rest before working himself into premium condition for next season. He also has said he will reduce his off-the-court obligations.“I think he’s getting there,” Ainge said. “I think a summer of more rehab and a little bit of the extra rest, I really believe he’s going to put the extra time in and that’s why I sort of feel like this was a transition year for him in just coming back.
“I think Rondo would have felt bad and probably wouldn’t have come back as early as he did had our team been winning a lot of games. It’s hard for a player not playing the way that they’re used to and he’s a great player with great pride. But I think in his mind and what I see on the court, he’s gotten over that. I’m really excited about next year for him.”
Boston Globe - Danny Ainge sees huge year ahead for Rajon Rondo
As with many of Ainge’s quotes, they can be interpreted a number of ways, but Ainge could very well be correct in his prediction. Rondo will be in his prime while having a full summer to heal, recover, train and prepare for a new season. So logically, you could expect him to have a career year. Oh yeah, there’s also that huge variable in the “Best year of Rondo’s career” equation called: ‘contract year.’ You better believe that Rondo is aware of what’s going on inside and outside of Boston and he is human like everyone else, so you can definitely expect him to have a career year next year. Everything is lined up that way, anyway. So when Ainge says all this, he’s aware of it as well. At this point, the team and the league is aware of his game and everything that comes along with it. But like everything else that involves the Celtics team currently, it all depends on where those ping pong balls land on May 20th.
Like it or not, such is their reality and reading between the lines of Ainge’s quotes, you can come away with this understanding when he says he can’t guarantee that anybody will be here for sure. Ainge knows what he is doing and what he is saying, and chooses his words and actions carefully. Rondo is unquestionably their best player and most valuable asset. I’m guessing Ainge and Wyc will once again revisit the contract extension discussions with Rondo and his agent after midnight on July 1 of this year. And while the offer will be slightly better than the one they offered this year, it’s still not even close to what Rondo could max out with if he waited until July 1, 2015. But again, that comes with the caveat that he stays here, because the C’s can offer him more years and money than any other team. With one game remaining, there’s plenty to ponder over, along with plenty of time to do so. Enjoy the NBA playoffs for about a month until you actually have anything tangible to start thinking about.
The rest of the links:
Boston Globe - Celtics slump to yet another loss