In the wake of Monday’s announcement of a gigantic new television contract with ESPN and TNT that will pay the NBA roughly $2.7 million per year, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald tracked down Rondo before the Celtics’ preseason game and asked how much the new deal changes the calculus for the free-agent-to-be.
Not much, it turns out. At least, not yet.
“As Rajon Rondo went through a pregame workout last night (wearing a brace to protect his surgically repaired left hand), he was interested to hear the league’s new media deal was official,” Bulpett wrote. “We joked that this would mean he’d have to sign just a one-year contract when he becomes a free agent next summer, and he smiled and shook his head.
“Later, he said, ‘I haven’t even talked to (agent Bill) Duffy yet.”
Signing a contract extension doesn’t make any financial sense for Rondo, who could sign for more years at greater money if he waits until his current deal expires in July. With the salary cap now set to increase to more than $90 million in 2016-17 under the new TV deal from $63 million this season, however, signing a long-term deal might be just as foolhardy for the point guard, even if he inks a maximum contract.
Yet Bulpett believes it is still “likely” Rondo seeks a longer deal, whether in Boston or somewhere else. If Rondo was pushing for max money before, he could push even harder for the max now knowing that within two years and under very different league economics, his contract could amount to a bargain for whichever team employs him.
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