View Full Version : Rondo, Celtics agree to new deal

11-02-2009, 07:18 PM
Up against a Monday night deadline, the Boston Celtics and point guard Rajon Rondo reached an agreement in principle on a contract extension, his agent confirmed to ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher.

The deal is for five years and will be worth at least $55 million, a source confirmed to Bucher.

"It's not over yet, I haven't signed the papers yet," a smiling Rondo said Monday at the Celtics' practice facility. Asked if the sides were close, Rondo noted, "Very close."

"I'm excited, thankful, humbled," Rondo said. "Nothing changes, though. There's still one goal in mind. It's a great opportunity, but I'm focused on winning a championship."

Rondo and the team agreed to the deal late Sunday night, thanks in large part to what the 23-year-old guard has demonstrated since training camp began.

General manager Danny Ainge and owner Wyc Grousbeck balked at giving Rondo the kind of deal he wanted because of concern about his leadership skills and integration in the team fabric when negotiations began.

"They were candid and we understood," said Rondo's agent, Bill Duffy. "It was never about on the court. They wanted him to demonstrate being more of a leader, meshing with the team, being engaged in the locker room. Those issues have been squelched. I have to give a lot of credit to Ainge and Wyc. When there is an issue and you get it resolved, it's like a cleansing."

The Celtics and Rondo were faced with a midnight deadline Monday night to work out a deal. Had the sides not been able to come to an agreement on an extension, Rondo would have become a restricted free agent July 1. Yahoo! Sports first reported the agreement.

"There's always the possibility that there would be more money in a free-agent situation, even though it's harder for a restricted free agent," Duffy said. "But because Rajon is in such an ideal situation, it was my responsibility to promote continuity."

Duffy told Yahoo! Sports that he called Ainge on Sunday to inform him Rondo was prepared to play out his contract and become a restricted free agent next summer because they weren't satisfied with the team's offers. Ainge, according to Duffy, then gave ground to finish off the deal.


11-02-2009, 07:28 PM
already posted