Rondo makes only $12 million this year and $13 million next year — that's chump change in today's market. From what I've heard, he wants a max extension and wants to compete now (and not later). What if Rondo gave the Celtics the following ultimatum? "I want to go to a contender or I'm not playing this season … and also, I'm out of here in 2015." Would they call his bluff and just say, "No, you're under contract, we are NOT trading you"? Would it turn into a staring contest? Would they have to start shopping him? If he doesn't start practicing soon, then something is up and he wants out.
Now Simmons has more friends in the NBA than I do. Like he has a lot and I have none. But I have a tough time seeing Rondo taking that stance. I suppose it could be true, but I think there are some much more likely options.
Rondo will definitely get a max contract, whether it is in Boston or not. We can agree on that. But couldn't Rondo just be taking his time with the injury? In a season like this there is no reason to risk an early return, time is working in Rondo's favor. Something would be up if Rondo returned too early and risked re-injuring the knee, not the other way around.
Most importantly, from everything we hear in Boston, Rondo has truly stepped into a leadership role. His voice has been "the loudest one at practice" according to many. In addition, Rondo has formed a strong bond with coach Brad Stevens. When Rondo speaks to the media about the Celtics' success this season, he preaches each player is doing it for one another and that that's the type of basketball he enjoys being a part of. He simply does not sound like a guy demanding a trade.
Finally, Rondo is smart. What contenders do not already have a point guard AND own the assets it would require to make dealing Rondo worth Boston's while? Probably none, and Rajon knows that.
There are two contenders in the Eastern Conference - Miami and Indiana. The Heat? Yeah right! The Pacers? Well I guess it's not impossible… but what do you ask for if you are Boston? Their draft picks are all going to be very late and all of the Pacers' pieces are key to their current conference leading success.
The Western Conference is much deeper, but there are still no good matches. Portland has Damian Lillard, SAS has Tony Parker, OKC has Russell Westbrook, LAC has Chris Paul, and GSW has Stephen Curry. Houston, Dallas and Memphis could maybe use Rondo, but certainly do not have anything worth while to send back to Boston that they would be willing to give up.
Denver is an interesting case. Ty Lawson, Kenneth Faried and the Knicks 1st round picks are all enticing pieces. But does Denver count as a contender in Rondo's mind any more than Boston does? Especially after they give up whatever the price to acquire him would be? The answer is no.
Bottom line, Rondo knows making that request would never work.
There is overwhelming evidence that says Rondo knows better than to force his way out of town. But again, what do I know? Simmons may have heard otherwise.
Do you guys think Rondo is looking to get out of Boston? Or do you believe he wants to re-sign with the Celtics and be a part of the long haul?