With the majority of the Celtics offseason focused on the like's of one Kevin Love and the potential player's he can take with him, the almost forgotten man in this whole scenario is all-star point guard Rajon Rondo. With so much focus on trying to land Love and another superstar to pair with Rondo to create the league's next big three, we often forget that Rondo's current contract runs dry at the end of the 2015 season.
Should the Celtics nab the all-star forward from Minnesota, it shouldn't be too long before we start hearing the talk's of a contract extension and then potentially going after another star forward, and so on and so forth. But the main focus here is on the Captain. Chance's are Rondo will be seeking a max contract offer from any team that is willing to spend it. This may be Rondo's last chance at a big payday and I think he is going to go all out for one. He is 28 years old and in his prime as an excellent ball handler, who is capable of knocking down a 12 to 15 foot jumper, something he had not done from his college career until the last few years, with a beautiful knack for finding the open man, on his way to multiple double digit assist games. He is an excellent rebounder for the position he play's and has numerous triple-double's to his credit for it. He can do it all on the court, except hit the three and consistently sink a free throw. But in this day in age, you take the good with the bad.
Should the Celtics fail to make that big splash this offseason, I fully expect Rondo to test the free agent water's to, like previously stated, seek a max contract from anyone who is going to pony up that kind of cash. The Celtics may also look to trade him if they cannot get Kevin Love, for the fear they may lose Rondo for nothing, much like the Love situation.
While that may not sound like a bad idea in gaining valuable asset's for the future, I still think that the Celtics need to do what they can to keep Rondo and keep him happy. Gaining a Kevin Love and/or another superstar can only help. Player's of Rondo's caliber do not grow on tree's. His intangible's are one of a kind and his knowledge of the game make's him far superior then other's as well. He is a top 5 point guard in the league that doesn't need to score to be productive.
With the new's that Carmelo Anthony is planning on opting out of his contract with the desire to land on a team with NBA Finals aspiration's, the time is now for the Celtics. If they want to keep Rondo, landing Love would be an incredible start. Maybe with Anthony free to sign elsewhere, he may view the Celtics as a big time option, or an attractive situation where he can still be the 1st offensive option next to Love in Celtics green.
The time is now, Celtics and Danny Ainge. If you plan on keeping Rondo, you have to start by gaining a Kevin Love and then you need to convince a player like Carmelo Anthony that it's worth the time and money. With that kind of tandem, you'll instantly be an Eastern Conference juggernaut. That's why Rondo's fate lay's with Mr. Love and other's. (Melo? Greg Monroe? Gordon Hayward?)
At the end of the day, this guy
has earned himself a lucrative contract from wherever he lands. If he stays with the Celtics, I expect a deal a little more similar to what his last deal was, a 5 year $55 million dollar deal. Within those parameters, possible more, but should he reach the open market, he will get max dollars.