One day after Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge revealed he recently offered star point guard Rajon Rondo a contract extension, Rondo said he wouldn’t mind staying with the team for the rest of his career.
“I like to stick to the script,” Rondo said before the Celtics lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 101-83, Friday night at TD Garden. “I don’t like change much. I wouldn’t mind staying here the rest of my career. Things don’t always seem to go that way, but like I said before, it’s just a business. I wouldn’t mind extending another 10 years in Boston.”
After this season, Rondo has one year left on the five-year extension worth $55 million he signed in October 2009.
The Celtics offered Rondo an extension roughly a month ago, Ainge said. The sides weren’t able to get a deal done, but that was to be expected, as the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement limits the length and value of a possible extension at this point in the season.
Talks will continue and escalate, with the more likely possibility that a deal is reached this summer after June 30, when Rondo could sign a longer deal worth more money, or in the summer of 2015, when his current deal expires, making him one of the top free agents on the market.
Ainge had mentioned he expects Rondo to get paid “star money.” On that subject, Rondo said, “I’m making star money now, really. It’s a pretty good living. I’ll let my agent handle those terms.”
Rondo had 5 points and eight assists in nearly 22 minutes as he returned to the lineup after sitting out Wednesday’s game at Washington for precautionary measures because it was the second game of a back-to-back.
Rondo is still on a minutes restriction after missing nearly a year after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Assist for Perkins
It’s well known Rondo and Kendrick Perkins were close as teammates on the Celtics, and they’ve remained close with Perkins having been traded to Oklahoma City in 2011.
“I talk to him almost every day,” said Perkins, who played seven-plus seasons in Boston. “This is his team. Right now I know he’s just trying to get his legs up under him and get his rhythm back. But this is his team. He has learned, so he should know how to be a leader. I think he’ll do a good job at it.”
Like Rondo, Perkins has also suffered a torn ACL, and they talked often about the rehabilitation process.
“He’ll call me and just ask me different questions about what I need to do and stuff like that,” Perkins said. “I just told him to make sure he stays on top of it. Make sure he works the opposite leg — the leg that he didn’t hurt — the same as he’s working the leg that he did hurt.’’
“Because once you tear your ACL, it’s a 50-50 chance that you could tear the other one, because a lot of other guys don’t focus on strengthening the other leg as much.’’ I just told him to make sure to stay on top of that
Perkins said Rondo sounded a little nervous throughout the process.
“He was a little scared,” Perkins said. “Every little thing was bothering him. and stuff like that. I told him, there’s nothing wrong with it. He was like, ‘Man, I keep hearing this and this.’ You know how he can get.
“I had to tell him, once he steps on the court, everything else will go out the window. And I called him after he came back for his first game, and he said, ‘Oh, I was good. I made me some shots.’ I told him it will come.”
Perkins, who received applause when introduced in the starting lineup, said it’s always nice to come back to Boston.
“It definitely brings back memories, being up here eight years, since I was 18 to 26 going on 27,” he said. “Great people. I’ve still got a lot of friends around here. It’s always good to come back.”
Bradley, Bayless sit
Shooting guard Avery Bradley missed the game with a sprained right ankle he suffered Tuesday in Miami. Coach Brad Stevens said he expects Bradley to be sidelined for two weeks, which means Bradley might not play again until the Celtics play Jan. 5 at Philadelphia.
Guard Jerryd Bayless also missed the game with a sprained left big toe. Stevens said Bayless is day to day.
Forward Jared Sullinger dislocated his right (shooting) index finger in the first half but returned to the game. He finished with 6 points and four rebounds in 24 minutes.
“It’s just hard to shoot, that’s all,” Sullinger said. “If it ain’t one thing, it’s another.”
Sullinger had been dealing with a deep bone bruise in his left hand.
Durant gets breather
Oklahoma City star swingman Kevin Durant, who has scored 30 or more points in nine straight games, sat out with a right shoulder injury. Russell Westbrook (knee) was also sidelined, marking the first time in the Thunder’s history that both of their stars sat out of the same game . . . With Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett returning to the Garden on Sunday for the first time since the two Celtics icons were traded to Brooklyn, Perkins, their former teammate, remarked on how much better the Nets have played recently. following their early-season struggles “We got them going,” Perkins said. “They came in and beat us in Oklahoma City and ever since then, I think they’ve won [eight] out of their last [nine] games.’’