Rajon Rondo has been a Boston Celtic for his entire eight-year NBA career, but his future with the team beyond the 2014-15 season — which is the final year of his contract — is uncertain.
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, the Celtics’ starting point guard will test the free-agent market for the first time in his career.
“Though he is not looking to get out of Boston, Rondo was quick to kill talk of an extension when recently approached by Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge,” Broussard wrote. “It didn’t even get to the numbers stage. Rondo is looking forward to becoming an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career in the summer of 2015. It’s not that he’s dead set on leaving Boston, but he wants to keep his options open in terms of both winning and money. Ainge has to decide whether he wants to gamble on the possibility of re-signing Rondo or trade him around the 2014 draft or before next season’s trade deadline.”
“I don’t think there’s anything serious yet,” Ainge said.
From a business standpoint, it doesn’t make sense for Rondo to sign an extension with the Celtics at this time. Under the terms of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, the 27-year-old guard could sign a new four-year contract right now. If he waits until the offseason or after his current contract expires, he could earn a lot more money.
Rondo has never publicly expressed a desire to leave the Celtics, and he even stated last week “I wouldn’t mind staying here the rest of my career. I wouldn’t mind extending another 10 years.”
Of course, the Celtics are in rebuilding mode, and it’s unclear if the team will be ready to contend for championships when it’s time for Rondo to decide his future.
Boston likely will have a good amount of salary-cap space in the summer of 2015, when Rondo and other superstars such as Minnesota’s Kevin Love, Indiana’s Roy Hibbert and Portland’s LeMarcus Aldridge are eligible to become unrestricted free agents.
Rondo has played in six games for the Celtics this season following a recovery from knee surgery. He’s averaged 6.7 points, 5.7 assists and 3.8 rebounds in 24.3 minutes per game.