By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst
Posted Oct 26 2009 9:18PM
Trying to beat the clock for one of their youngest and most talented core players, the Boston Celtics were in contact Monday evening with the agent for starting point guard Rajon Rondo, according to a league source, in hopes of reaching agreement on a long-term contract before the Oct. 31 league deadline for negotiating extensions with members of the 2006 draft class.
The meeting between the Celtics and Rondo's agent, Bill Duffy, came after two weeks of relatively amiable discussions about the parameters of a new deal for the 23-year-old Rondo, who has become one of the league's better young point guards despite periods of occasional drift and clashing with Coach Doc Rivers. But the discussions haven't yet led to a consensus on how to pay Rondo in a potential five-year deal. Rondo and Duffy are seeking a maximum or near-max contract that would pay him between $80 and $85 million; the Celtics are loath to put anything near that much into Rondo, given their existing expenditures for star players like Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
If Rondo doesn't sign by Oct. 31, he would become a restricted free agent next summer. The Celtics would still have the right ot match any offer for him, but would run the risk of exposing Rondo when several teams have cleared or are planning to clear huge amounts of money under the salary cap to go after next summer's huge free agent class.
WEEI Radio in Boston reported Monday afternoon that the Celtics were planning to make a major offer for Rondo, who starred in Boston's epic first-round playoff series with the Bulls, nearly averaging a triple-double in the seven-game series.
The Celtics were also waiting on Monday for results of a second opinion on the right thumb injury suffered by backup center Glen Davis, who reportedly suffered the injury in an off-court altercation with a former teammate of his Sunday. "It doesn't look good," said a league source. The Celtics were hopeful that Davis hasn't fractured his thumb; if he did, surgery would be required and Davis would likely miss several months, if not the entire season.
Davis, who stepped up his play in last season's playoffs as a starter for the injured Kevin Garnett, re-signed with Boston this summer after failing to get signifcant offers as a restricted free agent. Forward Shelden Williams, a late pickup by the Celtics during the offseason, would take the majority of Davis's minutes.
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