It’s pretty simple: When Rajon Rondo plays well, the Celtics win. That was even true before he stepped his game up over the past week. He’s hitting his jumpers with more regularity, and he’s making defenders look pretty stupid as he blows by them whenever he wants. In 3 April games, Rondo is averaging 24 points, 6.7 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 3 steals. And he’s doing it for $1.6 million dollars.
Rondo is due a million dollar raise next year ($2.6 mil) and he’ll get a qualifying offer as a restricted free agent of $3.8 million… although he’ll likely work out an extension by then.
Rajon Rondo probably won’t get any MVP votes, but he really should. The Celtics have no one that can come close to matching what Rondo does. And not only does he produce on the floor… he’s got that kind of sick internal drive that makes a player a superstar.
“I hate being out,” Rondo said following yesterday’s practice session. “Those two games I missed this year, I just hated. I wanted to go the entire season without missing a game. (Kevin Garnett) is going through it right now, and Leon (Powe) and (Brian Scalabrine) are going through it, so the rest of us have to pick it up. I guess (it’s a matter of willpower). But nobody is playing at 100 percent at this time of year.
“I’ve always played through pain and injury. I just don’t want to settle for less.”
There are other bargains out there. David Lee, Ronnie Brewer and Rodney Stuckey are making the same money as Rondo. Rudy Fernandez is making a little less in the first year of his rookie deal. And there are some good role players, like Roger Mason ($3.5 mil) that are producing well for their salaries.
But the Celtics are getting much more for their money in Rajon Rondo than any team is getting from anyone. It’s like finding a thousand dollar suit on the $29.99 rack. Rondo will be paid like a superstar soon enough… but for now… he’s clearly the biggest bargain in the NBA.
Globe: Rondo driven to succeed | Heat thumbnails | Herald: Heat-C’s scouting report | WEEI: Rondo – The new Pearl Washington | Camerato: How to dine like a champion | Celtics Hub: Perk’s spending habits | Kentucky.com: Rondo, NBA a perfect fit | Lakers win in Bynum’s return