Rajon Rondo Says Teammates are ‘Playing for Contracts’


by Marcel Mutoni / @ marcel_mutoni

The only Boston Celtics players with guaranteed deals for next season are Rajon Rondo, Gerald Wallace, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, Vitor Faverani, Kelly Olynyk, and Jared Sullinger.

The rest are fighting to stay in Beantown, while some are just hoping to hang on in the NBA.

Rondo admits that leading a group surrounded by so much uncertainty, to say nothing of the losing, has made his job that much tougher this season. The C’s point guard has turned to his old coach, Doc Rivers, for advice.

Per the Boston Globe:

“I speak to Doc all the time,” Rondo said. “I’ve talked to him on the phone. I’ve talked to him after games, text-wise. He gives me advice all the time.”

“That’s all it was about,” Rivers said. “I said, “You’re going to have to have patience.’ ”

“Everybody is not going to buy in, because all they hear is that they’re all getting traded because they’re in the middle of a rebuild,’” Rivers said he told Rondo. “So you’re going to go in there and talk about, ‘Hey, let’s buy in as a team,’ and half of them are going to say, ‘I’m not even going to be on this team.’ ”

“For the most part, guys are playing for contracts,” Rondo said. “It’s not a matter of being here. It’s a matter of staying in the league. If a guy is not under contract, obviously he wants to play well every game,” Rondo said. “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.”

The Celtics (22-46) are obviously rebuilding, and the front-office is shrewdly avoiding as many long-term contracts as possible.

Rajon Rondo has his work cut out for him, and despite having to navigate such a gloomy season, he knows that a silver lining exists:

“When we win, everybody gets paid.”