League pushes extension deadline

Updated: October 30, 2009, 4:08 AM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics have a little bit more time to work toward a contract extension.

Rondo
Rondo

The league has pushed the deadline for contract extensions for all players from the 2006 draft class from Saturday to Monday, league spokesman Tim Frank confirmed Thursday night.

NBA front-office sources told ESPN.com that all 30 teams were notified via league memorandum earlier this week that the league's annual Oct. 31 deadline for players in the fourth year of their rookie-scale contracts, according to the collective-bargaining agreement, is moved to the next available business day if the deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or federal holiday.

Only four first-round picks from 2006 have received extensions so far: No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani (Toronto), No. 2 LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland), No. 6 Brandon Roy (Portland) and No. 13 Thabo Sefolosha (Oklahoma City).

Players who don't receive extensions by Monday will join the vaunted 2010 free-agent class, but as restricted free agents.

Teams wishing to exercise the third-year option in a rookie-scale contract on players entering their second NBA season or a fourth-year option on players entering their third NBA season also have until Monday to do so because the Oct. 31 deadline falls on a weekend this year.

ESPN.com reported Tuesday that contract talks between Rondo and the Celtics, which initially appeared dead, were still ongoing.

Rondo's agent, Bill Duffy, told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher on Tuesday that an extension could still be reached after Duffy and Celtics director of basketball operations Danny Ainge met earlier this week in Cleveland, where Boston made a counterproposal that has rekindled negotiations. Terms of the counterproposal were not available, but it was enough to re-open dialogue, Duffy said.

A week earlier, Rondo himself told ESPNThe Magazine's Chris Broussard that it will not affect his play this season and the sides fail to reach an agreement, which would make Rondo a restricted free agent next summer.

"I have no idea whether we'll get something done [by the deadline]," Rondo said from the visiting locker room at Madison Square Garden. "It's not something I'm worried about. It's just not a big deal right now. Of course, I'd like to get it done, but if it doesn't happen, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it."

"My agent's got a certain number in mind and if they don't reach that, we'll just wait," he said. "I feel like if we win another title, obviously that helps my chances [of getting more money]."

Boston sports radio station WEEI reported earlier this week that the Celtics offered Rondo a five-year, $45 million extension. But Rondo, according to the station, is seeking a five-year deal worth between $55 million and $60 million.

Rondo is earning $2.3 million this season in the last year of his rookie contract. He averaged 11.9 points, 8.2 assists and 5.2 rebounds per game last season but pushed that to a near triple-double in the playoffs.

Rondo joins Memphis' Rudy Gay and Chicago's Tyrus Thomas on the list of prominent 2006 draftees who have not been able to join Bargnani, Aldridge, Roy and Sefolosha in securing an extension.

Marc Stein is a senior NBA writer for ESPN.com.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

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