The Celtics Hand Jaylen Brown Their First Rookie Contract Extension In A Decade

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If you want to know how much the Boston Celtics value Jaylen Brown, consider that it has been a decade since the last time they handed out a rookie contract extension. Hours before today’s deadline, word emerged that they gave the 22-year-old wing a four-year deal which could be worth up to $115 million. Had the two sides failed to come to an agreement, Brown would have become a restricted free agent next offseason but, now, the team has him locked up until 2024. The last-minute deal was particularly surprising since reports heading into the day indicated that the two sides were far apart from each other.

About Celtics
The Boston Celtics are an American professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. Founded in 1946 as one of the league’s original eight teams, the team play their home games at TD Garden, which they share with the National Hockey League (NHL)’s Boston Bruins. The Celtics are regarded as the most successful basketball team in NBA history; the franchise has won the most championships in the NBA with 17, accounting for 23.9 percent of all NBA championships since the league’s founding.The Celtics have a notable rivalry with the Los Angeles Lakers, who have won 16 NBA championships, second behind the Celtics. The rivalry was heavily highlighted throughout the 1960s and 1980s. The franchise has played the Lakers a record 12 times in the NBA Finals (including their most recent appearances in 2008 and 2010), of which the Celtics have won nine. Four Celtics players (Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, Dave Cowens and Larry Bird) have won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award for an NBA record total of 10 MVP awards. Both the nickname “Celtics” and their mascot “Lucky the Leprechaun” are a nod to Boston’s historically large Irish population.The Celtics’ rise to dominance began in the late 1950s, after acquiring center Bill Russell in a draft day trade in 1956, who would become the cornerstone of the Celtics dynasty. Led by Russell and superstar point guard Bob Cousy, the Celtics won their first NBA championship in 1957. Russell, along with a talented supporting cast of future Hall of Famers including John Havlicek, Tom Heinsohn, K. C. Jones, Sam Jones, Satch Sanders, and Bill Sharman, would usher the Celtics into the greatest period in franchise history, winning eight consecutive NBA championships throughout the 1960s. After the retirement of Russell in 1969, the Celtics entered a period of rebuilding. Led by center Dave Cowens and point guard JoJo White, the Celtics returned to championship caliber, winning two NBA titles in 1974 and 1976. The Celtics again returned to dominance in the 1980s. Led by the “Big Three” that featured Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish, the Celtics won the 1981, 1984, and 1986 championships. After winning 16 championships throughout the 20th century, the Celtics, after struggling through the 1990s, rose again to win a championship in 2008 with the help of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen in what was known as the new “Big Three” era.
Following the win in 2008, general manager Danny Ainge commenced a rebuilding process with the help of head coach Brad Stevens, who led the Celtics to a return to the playoffs from 2015. During the following season, the Celtics clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but were eliminated in the Conference Finals. This prompted an aggressive rebuild in 2017, where the team acquired All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. However, the pair struggled with injuries throughout the 2017–18 season, and the team was again defeated in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Celtics Hand Jaylen Brown Their First Rookie Contract Extension In A Decade

About Jaylen
Jaylen is a variant of Jalen. Notable people with the name include:

Jaylen Brown (born 1996), American basketball player
Jaylen Hands (born 1999), American basketball player
Jaylen Hoard (born 1999), French basketball player
Jaylen Nowell (born 1999), American basketball player
Jaylen Robinson or Rob Stone (born 1995), American rapper
Jaylen Samuels (born 1996), American football player
Jaylen Smith (wide receiver) (born 1997), American football player
Jaylen Watkins (born 1991), American football player

When we last heard the numbers surrounding Brown, it was in the context of Brown reportedly rejecting a four-year deal worth $80 million. Given that Brown was potentially holding out for the max and seemed willing to bet on himself earning it by having a monster year, it looked like the obvious move would be to put off contract talk until next offseason. As a restricted free agent, the Celtics could have matched any offer handed by another team in order to retain Brown’s services, so it wouldn’t have involved too much risk on their part.

So when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, tipped off by Brown’s agent Jason Glushon, tweeted out that the Celtics had given him a $115 million extension, the timing and the price tag were both rather surprising. While many NBA observers will doubtlessly consider the deal as an overpay no matter what, the Athletic’s Jay King at least added some nuance to the numbers when he reported that $12 million of the deal would be tied up in incentives.

The Celtics Hand Jaylen Brown Their First Rookie Contract Extension In A Decade

The Celtics quickly emerged with a press release that officially announced the deal, although they did not disclose the specific terms. In it, Celtics team president Danny Ainge made it clear how much they valued Brown: “He’s a great person and hard worker who, at 22 years old, can score and defend against the best players in the NBA. Jaylen is a true professional who did a great job accepting his role last season, and he is a major part of our championship goals.”

The Celtics’ decision could have been shaped by outside forces. This upcoming free agent market is remarkably dry and it was only getting more and more barren. Over the weekend, Pascal Siakam signed a four-year, $130 million max contract with the Toronto Raptors and, earlier today, Buddy Hield agreed to a four-year, $94 million deal with the Sacramento Kings. Boston might have just reasoned that—assuming that Brown’s production doesn’t drop for a second straight season—there would bound to be some team that was likely going to offer him the max in the offseason just given the lack of options. If the Celtics did decide to move on from Brown, it wouldn’t even have left them with a significant cap space to use on a different player, making it incredibly likely that they would have been paying Brown no matter what.

Ultimately though, there’s one major factor that came into play when handing Brown this deal: the Celtics really do value Brown that much. There’s a reason why they have been hesitant to include Brown in past trades, even for the likes of Kawhi Leonard. While many (this writer included) used past precedent to discount the possibility of the team signing Brown to an extension—the last time the Celtics did so was in 2009 when they gave point guard Rajon Rondo a five-year, $55 million deal—the rebuttal apparently was: well, that’s because they haven’t had a rookie they were this desperate to hang onto until Brown came along. As much as they tried to bluff, it’s been clear that the Celtics have been all-in on Brown for a while.

Maybe we should have just listened to Ainge this whole time. Speaking with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich” show, the GM dismissed reports that the two sides were far apart. “I feel like the negotiations are going well,” he said. “Whoever put out that report was not accurate. We are working to come to a result. Monday is our deadline. The negotiations have gone well.” It turns out he wasn’t just trying to spin things, as both sides should be happy with how the results and finally ready to turn all of their attention to basketball.

At least until the chatter starts up about a potential Jayson Tatum extension.