BOSTON -- Don't call him Nostradamus just yet, but Boston coach Doc Rivers believes that Rajon Rondo will retire as a Celtic.
"I think Rajon Rondo will be a lifetime Celtic," Rivers said yesterday on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show. "I really do. I think this process he's gone through is the process all players go through at times. The maturity process is another thing that all players go through. I don't think he's behind in that department at all. I just think he's young and he's growing.
"So, I never had a black mark against him. For maturity issues, that's part of his process of growing up, and he's doing that. He's been as good as anyone. In camp thus far he's doing everything we ask him to do -- and he usually does. I would be very surprised if he's not a lifetime Celtic."
Rondo was at the center of several trade rumors this past summer. At the time, both Rivers and Celtics' president of basketball operations, Danny Ainge, said that those rumors were not true.
The Celtics have until Oct. 31 to extend Rondo's contract. If the two sides can't come to an agreement, Rondo will become a restricted free agent after the season. If it comes to that, the Celtics can match any offer Rondo gets.
"I want to be wherever I'm wanted for the next 10 years," Rondo said at Media Day. "If Danny wants me, I'll be here for the next 10 years."
Translation - "Show me the money!"
"This may be the biggest contract I get, but I don't think about it like that," Rondo added.
"The more wins I get, the more chance I'll have to play long term. I've got a chance to get a couple of rings and take advantage of the team we have."
Rondo added 11 pounds of muscle in the offseason, and both Rivers and Ainge said that Rondo has had the best camp among all of the Celtics so far.
Rivers said that Rondo has improved his jumper, and he hopes that Rondo will become a 3-point threat this year.
"When you look at his shot this year, he's made some dramatic changes to it, it looks good, it's going to go in, and it's going to keep getting better," Rivers said. "The thing I love about Rondo is, he's going to put in the time. That kid works on his game. He traveled all summer back and forth to Atlanta, working with Mark Price.
"I think he's done some great work and you can see it in his game. I don't think anyone can go from an average to a great shooter, but they can become a pretty good shooter. And that's all Rondo needs. If he can develop that mid-range jump shot and make the occasional 3, then he's going to be tough to deal with."
While extending his $2.6 million contract before Halloween would be nice, Rondo said that he is not focusing on his contract. His main focus is to help the Celtics win the NBA title.