There are a lot numbers out there concerning how much Rajon Rondo wants and how much the C’s offered during Monday night’s unsuccessful last-ditch talks. The folks at WEEI have reported the team offered Rajon a 5-year, $45 million deal ($9M/season), but that Rondo and his agent, Bill Duffy, wanted something in the range of 5-years, $55/$60 million ($11M-$12M/season).
That report—based on anonymous sources—came hours after David Aldridge reported on NBA.com (citing an anonymous “league source”) that Rondo was seeking a five-year deal worth between $80M and $85M—or $16M-$17M, basically the NBA max.
So, again: Be cautious assuming we know what numbers are actually being tossed around. What we can look at, though, is where all of those salaries would rank among the league’s starting point guards. Here are the starters (excluding those still on their rookie deals), based on approximate average salary over the next three seasons, with salary numbers gleaned from several of the usual sources (DraftExpress, Sham Sports and news stories)
Gilbert Arenas: $17.7M
Chris Paul: $15.0M (escalating max)
Deron Williams: $15.0M (escalating max)
Chauncey Billups: $13.15M (with some partial guarantees having to do with the third season)
Tony Parker: $13.15M
Baron Davis: $13M
Steve Nash: $11.7M
Monta Ellis: $11M
Mo Williams: $8.9M (early termination option in third year)
Devin Harris: $8.9M
Jose Calderon: $8.8M
T.J. Ford: $8.5M (two years remaining)
Jameer Nelson: $8.1M
Jason Kidd: $8.0M
Andre Miller: $7.3M
Luke Ridnour: $6.5M (one year remaining)
Chris Duhon: $6.03 (one year remaining)
Mike Bibby: $6.0M
Derek Fisher: $5.05M (one year remaining)
Lou Williams: $5.05M
Steve Blake: $4.0M (one year remaining)
Ramon Sessions: $3.9M (holy crap, what a deal)
So where does Rajon fit?
Anything between $9M and $11M seems to be a fair ballpark, no? Rondo’s still a step down from the Paul/Williams/Parker trio, and the Arenas deal which tops the list was struck in a very different bargaining and economic environment. I’m sure Rondo’s agent, Bill Duffy, will mention the Baron Davis contract often, but I think we all agree the Clips overpaid there. And did so before the economy tanked.
It seems like both sides should be able to settle into a fairly narrow salary range without too much trouble. Of course $1M or $2M a season matters with the cap coming down and the C’s facing the prospect of re-signing Ray Allen and dealing with a half-dozen other deals that expire after this season.