Rondo agrees to 5 year contract extension

BOSTON (AP) - Rajon Rondo says he has agreed to a five-year contract extension with the Celtics, keeping the star point guard from entering the market as a restricted free agent after the season.

The deal has yet to be signed but Rondo said Monday that was just a "formality."

"That's the biggest thing for me, take care of my family," Rondo said. "I'm very excited."

Talks between Rondo's agent Bill Duffy and the Celtics became more focused last week, just before the team's opener.

"I think the time we started to negotiate it was time for tip-off of the regular season in Cleveland," Rondo said.

"Maybe a day before, they offered during the Cleveland game but I had to focus. It was the start of the season. I had had four games already and didn't have much time to stress about it because I had to focus on winning games."

Rondo is averaging 11.8 assists per game in the first week of the season and has averaged 9.6 points per game and 5.8 assists over his three-plus seasons in the league.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers, a former star NBA point guard, likes the stability that the agreement brings.

"I love it," Rivers said. "Whenever we can lock up a player like him, that's what you want to do," said Rivers. "I said last week that I really thought he'd be a Celtic for life. Now, with the contract, at least for the most part of it, he will be. That's a good thing."

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)