BOSTON (CBS) — Rajon Rondo made his long-awaited return last Friday, and he returned to a bit of a surprise.
The Celtics introduced Rondo as the their team captain, a move the point guard didn’t even know was coming.
Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge has said that Rondo is part of the team’s future, and making him team captain appears to reflect that stance. But Ainge took it a step further while on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Thursday, and said the two sides have already spoken about a contract extension with Rondo set to become a free agent after next season.
“We did talk to Rondo about extending him,” Ainge admitted. “But that’s all part of the negotiation that will happen again this summer and most likely the summer after. I don’t know [if he will sign an extension], time will tell.”
“In the Collective Bargaining Agreement, there are limits on what can and can’t be done. Really it’s not that Rondo doesn’t want to accept an extension, but it’s just not financially smart for him to accept it right now,” said Ainge. “We didn’t think he would [sign], but we did tried.”
Ainge didn’t want to discuss any of the negotiations, but admitted that Rondo will probably get “star money” and “demand quite a bit on the open market.”
Rondo didn’t play Wednesday night in Washington, the second part of a back-to-back. That’s just one of the precautions the Celtics are taking with their All Star point guard, but Ainge has been pleased with what he’s seen out of Rondo in his three games back.
“He does a lot out there on the court just to keep us organized. He’s feeling his way and it’s about what we expected,” said Ainge. “There’s an adjustment period coming back physically and getting over the mental hurdle of pushing himself through some tough situations.”
Ainge also discussed the play of former D-Leaguer Chris Johnson, and the status of injured guard Avery Bradley: