Rajon Rondo Explains Why Some Boston Celtics 'Playing for Contracts'

Jim Cavan@@JPCavanContributor IMarch 19, 2014

Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo (9) reacts before an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Sunday, March 16, 2014. The Pelicans won 121-120. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)
Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press

For all his quirks and occasional surliness, Rajon Rondo has never lacked for perceptiveness—be it on the court or in front of the camera.

Rondo knows his Boston Celtics are in a bad way and that—as with any team entering a full-on rebuild—certain players might have their own fates and futures in mind.

From the Boston Globe’s Baxter Holmes:

Considering a good portion of Boston’s roster might not even be around by the time next season rolls around, it’s not like Rondo’s in danger of burning any real bridges by saying this.

At the same time, it should be noted that Rondo wasn't wielding this as a kind of passive-aggressive barb. Rather, he was merely acknowledging how a given player's financial situation might impact how they play. From Holmes' story:

If a guy is not under contract, obviously he wants to play well every game. He wants to make all his shots, do all the intangibles. I’m not necessarily saying that a guy under contract won’t do all those things, but obviously it’s amplified when you’re playing for your life or you’re playing for your career.

It’s worth nothing that Rondo has intimated on more than one occasion that he’d entertain finishing out his career in Boston, as he told the Globe’s Gary Washburn back in January.

We can interpret Rondo’s outward financial flexibility in one of two ways: The first is that he’s content with the money he’s making and would be happy to take a paycut if it meant expediting Boston’s rebuilding efforts.

Or, he’ll merely wait until next summer, survey the scene and—if the landscape warrants as much—join a contender at a steep discount.

As Bleacher Report's D.J. Foster teased out last month, the Celtics themselves are likely torn between whether to see Rondo as a cornerstone of the future, or a way to accelerate the rebuilding process.

Whereas [Danny] Ainge may view Rondo as his next Paul Pierce, the player who sticks through the bad times until there are enough assets to acquire other stars, other teams that already have star point guards (which are a lot of them) or need their point guards to be good outside shooters likely wouldn't touch Rondo for two unprotected picks.

Either way, it sounds like not even Rondo is sure how his roster is going to look next year. We know there will be a lot of rookies and second-year guys, but the guys "playing for contracts"—that's a bit more uncertain.

This is all purely speculative, of course. For all we know, this is Rondo's clever way of getting back at guys who beat him in Connect Four.

Related

    'Old as Dirt' Kerr Jokes Manu Is Old Too 😂

    NBA logo
    NBA

    'Old as Dirt' Kerr Jokes Manu Is Old Too 😂

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report

    David West T'd Up While Riding Bike

    NBA logo
    NBA

    David West T'd Up While Riding Bike

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report

    Harden, D'Antoni: We're Out of Rhythm

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Harden, D'Antoni: We're Out of Rhythm

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: C's Smart Could Be Back for Game 6

    Boston Celtics logo
    Boston Celtics

    Report: C's Smart Could Be Back for Game 6

    Tyler Conway
    via Bleacher Report