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Cedric Maxwell: Rajon Rondo Wants A $100 Million Extension


On Yahoo Sports Radio, Cedric Maxwell dropped a bit of a bombshell, albeit not an unexpected one: Rajon Rondo is rumored to be looking for a maximum salary in his next contract.

From WEEI’s post:

“I think it basically gives you an indicator of what the Celtics want to do,” Maxwell told Yahoo Sports Radio. “Rumor has it that Rondo has asked for a $100 million extension. You’ve got Smart, the young kid, and you’ve got 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.

“So, if you’re Rondo, you might want to start calling that moving company and say, ‘Eh, come get my stuff. I don’t think I’m going to be here too long.’”

Obviously, Rondo won’t be paid $100 million in one year — Maxwell’s indication that the difference between the contracts is $100 million to $4 million isn’t totally fair. It’s also worth noting that having cheap talent like Smart and Young might actually make a big contract a little more feasible.

But Maxwell knows Rondo about as well as anyone in the Boston media, and this isn’t an idle report. If Rondo is seeking a maximum deal (and, from a personal standpoint, he should; this next contract will likely be the biggest one of his career), there is likely a team willing to offer one. But that team probably shouldn’t be the Celtics, whose championship window doesn’t line up very well with Rondo’s career timetable.

It’s also worth noting that if Rondo wants a max deal, he will have to wait to sign it until after his current deal expires. As noted by NESN’s Ben Watanabe:

Rondo cannot sign an extension for $100 million. The longest extension any player can sign is four years, including any years left on his existing contract, so the biggest deal Rondo could sign right now is three more years at less than $45 million.

In other words, Rondo would be foolish to sign an extension this year, leaving guaranteed money on the table as a 28-year old who will turn 29 in February. He is likely headed for unrestricted free agency no matter what, and given how often Boston has allegedly dangled him in trade rumors, it would be understandable if he didn’t want to give the Celtics a hometown discount.

But as a team unlikely to make the playoffs sans a Kevin Love trade that we don’t see coming, the Celtics don’t want to be giving out max contracts, and when they brought in Smart, they gave themselves an out. Further, they gave themselves an option if Rondo is indeed planning to demand a max: Trade their star while he is still a valuable asset. Rondo performed well enough last season to reassure teams that his surgically repaired knee will be good to go next season, and his jumper looked improved. If a team is reasonably confident he will re-sign, there will certainly be suitors.

The Celtics aren’t going to give away their best player for nothing. But given his age and the team’s rebuilding window, Boston can’t afford to be tossing around maximum money. If Rondo wants four years and $100 million, his time in Boston may be over.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.

  • hax

    I always had the 5 years/$60 Million deal in my head.
    If he actually wants that much(4-5 years/$100 Million), we really have to trade him.
    *starts up the trade machine*

    • StaticFunctions

      Where does “thug” come in?

      • hax

        Was just going for the most cynical outlook. :)

        • StaticFunctions

          Ah, gotcha! Sorry, I’m terrible at reading sarcasm sometimes.

    • Janos

      hi hax is janos
      how you are feel nba celtics dose on draft this year?

      • hax

        We did pretty good 😉
        But was hoping for trades for veterans.

  • dasein

    Yeah, well we all knew this was coming.

    Rondo should absolutely try to get as much cash as he can. He’s been underpaid on his current deal, so that’s already the hometown discount. Should the celtics overpay in the future for what hes done in the past? Well, how’s that working out for the lakers…

    I’m thinking a Sac deal for Staukus might be the best realistic option here.

  • sightline

    Tony Parker gets 12.5M per year and in my opinion is a more balanced player. No chance a fairly one dimensional Rondo gets 20M. Trade him, start the rebuild from the bottom and try to create a better team culture. Whats with the Asik trade? They wanted Bass, Lee and a first rounder last year, now they just give him away. Has Bostons plans changed? Surely they could have made a better offer.

    • Ping

      Maybe they tried, who knows? I too was hoping for Asik, but maybe the C’s were unwilling to let go of a pick.

      And as for Parker, he’s not just a more balanced player, he’s just plain better than Rondo. Arguably the most underrated player in the NBA.

    • skeeds

      Different timing with Asik. The Rockets were looking to dump salary fast now to be able to offer a max deal to Lebron or Melo…
      I agree with Ping about Parker. Not a good example since he’s by far the most underpaid player in the league. He’s been the best pg in the league the past 10 years. Bear in mind that he, as well as Timmy and Manu, repeatedly accepted lesser deals to stick with Pop and keep winning.

  • StaticFunctions

    Well, bye Rondo.

  • hax

    Celtics get: Valanciunas, Fields, Hayes, Novak, Hansbrough, Ross.
    Raptors get: Rondo, Green, Wallace, Johnson, Pressey.

    Fields, Hayes, Hansbrough become 14 million in free space after this season. Frees us from Wallace(and Green). Gives the Raptors their Lowry replacement and JG8 so they can continue competing now.

    New Roster would be.

    C: Valanciunas, Faverani, Anthony
    PF: Olynyk, Sullinger, Hansbrough, Bass, Hayes
    SF: Young, Novak, Fields
    SG: Ross, Bogans, Babb
    PG: Smart.

    And this saves 5 million or so immediately. Along with giving us 5 young prospects with starters minutes to devleop.

    • Rich Jensen

      Hate that deal. Wish Simmons had never lobbied ESPN to create the trade machine. When was the last time you saw an 11 player trade between two teams?

      And Boston is already well supplied with young prospects. They need veterans.

      • hax

        This is assuming Rondo is a lunatic as the report says.
        Still leaves us with a bajillion assets to turn into something else if opportunities arise. :3

  • Rich Jensen

    Love to know Maxwell’s source for this.

    Think about it: The Boston front office is one of the quietest in the league, and Rondo doesn’t have an entourage full of leeches trying to be important by dropping inside info to the press.

    So who passed along this little nugget?

    • hax

      Somebody who wants Rondo.

      • Rich Jensen

        From what? Another team? What’s Maxwell doing? Gets a text from some dude playing for or associated with, oh I don’t know, Denver, maybe, saying Rondo wants $100M. Tell me Maxwell is smart enough not to pay attention to that.

    • CP37

      Not to mention it doesn’t make any sense. If Rondo wants to stay here and compete (which he does), why hamstring the team like this ahead of next year’s free agency where they’ll have him + the cap space to lure another major player to pair with him.

      • Rich Jensen

        He can’t even hamstring the team like this. He can’t get $100M until July 1, 2015.

        • CP37

          Right, it’d make sense to wait (from a FA perspective) until next year. Play a full great season to dispel any concerns about your ACL and then strike while the iron is hot and when you can make the most: 2015.

  • hax

    Not saying he’s a franchise center, but he can definitely fill the slot while we look for one.
    Greg Stiemsma is a free agent in his prime, good rim protector. Probably cheap as well.

    • CP37

      He’d be a damn good starter on this young team, always liked Steamer

      • Ping

        Ehhh no. Stiemsma recorded a glowing 9.7 PER last year with the Pellies and could barely beat out guys like Jason Smith and the corpse of Alex Anjica for minutes. He provides some blocks, but if you watched him in his extended minutes with Boston, he got exposed the more he played.

        Even next to the great KG he was lost on team D. I know we like to reminisce about past Celtics, but Stiemsma is not an answer. As a role player? Sure. But he’s not the rim protector everyone is clamoring for.

  • TMC

    If he wants a $100 million extension, then he most likely knows that he can’t sign it until 2015 anyways. So no biggie there

    The other thing to consider is that the cap is projected to go up (by a lot) over the next couple of years. The luxury tax threshold for 2015 is $62.5m and Zach Lowe says it could very easily climb another $5m for 2015-2016.

    With that much cap space coming down the pipe, someone is going to pay him that much easily. If we don’t, we’re going to have to overpay by just as much for a lesser talent.

  • Janos

    Rondos worth it

  • skeeds

    If this is indeed coming from a reliable source, then I can really see the logic in Rondo’s thinking. I don’t think he’s only willing to sign a max deal. He’s just making his intentions known.
    Rondo has the upper hand here. Ainge can’t threaten him by drafting Smart. If the Celtics for the next 3-4 years are gonna be the kind of team that prefers to wait for its rookies to grow up and save some money, in other words, if the C’s are willing to start Smart instead of paying for Rondo’s services, then he would probably rather be somewhere else.
    Threatening to trade him isn’t exactly leverage either. It’s the C’s that keep insisting that Rondo is crucial to the team’s future. I’m sure he has no inclination of being part of a future without a winning plan.
    The C’s can afford to overpay slightly, considering they can offer him any contract they want and exceed the cap to re-sign him, so I don’t see why they wouldn’t pay him something like 17mil for 5 years.

  • 123Star

    Really getting to the point that Rondo wants to be traded.

  • check12check

    This pretty much verifies that Rondo and the C’s are parting ways. Rondo wants to win now, and he knows this team isn’t going to do it. We want to win soon, and we know Rondo isn’t worth for that kind of money. I think both sides are mutually in on this, and information is going to intentionally surface which makes it seem as though both sides want to get a deal done, but are at odds as to what that deal would be. In reality, both sides mutually understand that a deal won’t happen, but we want to create that illusion to keep fans happy. Rondo goes to a team where he can be effective, and we get assets.

    The drafting of smart really tells me that this was the plan the whole time. If we were drafting for the best player available, we would have taken Randle. Everyone complains about having 597 powerforwards, but is it really terrible to be able to package desirable assets into a deal and still have talent at the PF position? If we were drafting for a guard, Nik Stauskas was a better fit, and arguably has a better career. so why did we draft for the one position that we have a legit star? , we were drafting a replacement. A guy we know can either be a bust (helping us draft next year) or who can thrive (and help us long term). Knowledge that a Rondo trade was going to happen is the only way that recent Rondo/Celtics actions make sense to me.

    • Rich Jensen

      Randle is not better than Smart. Randle’s got a foot injury that needs to be dealt with and is not as serious about basketball–or at least not as serious about playing for Boston. Maybe the Cavs would draft a guy who skipped a work out with them for a GQ photo shoot, but the Celtics won’t.

      • hax

        Let’s let the season play out before saying anyone is better. 😀

        • dasein

          Yeah, def can’t say that Randle is better than Smart yet, or vice versa.

  • hax

    “Celtics were first team to contact Isaiah Thomas.”
    What is our plan?!?! We got Rondo, Smart, and Bradley will be easy to retain if we want him.
    Maybe the PG position was jealous of the PF logjam and wanted to copy it?

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