- The incentives on Jaylen Brown’s four-year extension include $8MM if he wins the MVP, Defensive Player of the Year award or makes one of three All-NBA teams, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets. The Celtics and Brown reached an extension agreement on Monday. Another $4MM in more reachable incentives includes playing 65 or more games, the team winning 49 or more games and reaching the second round of the playoffs. As previously noted, the total guaranteed money in the deal is $103MM, but it could be worth up to $115MM.
- The Celtics’ decision to give Brown a huge extension sends a clear signal that they’ll do the same for Jayson Tatum next year, A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston writes. That will give Boston a dynamic duo who will both be 23 years old or younger and have ample playoff experience, Blakely notes.
4:27pm: Brown’s new deal has $103MM in guaranteed money, with $4MM in likely incentives and another $8MM in unlikely incentives, a source tells Jay King of The Athletic (Twitter link).
3:59pm: The Celtics have officially announced Brown’s extension, issuing a press release to confirm the deal.
“Jaylen has made tremendous strides over the last three years and has become a fantastic player for us on both ends of the court,” Ainge said in a statement. “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.”
2:51pm: Jaylen Brown has become the sixth player to agree to a rookie scale extension this year, having reached a four-year, $115MM deal with the Celtics, agent Jason Glushon tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The contract doesn’t feature any team or player options, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
It’s an early birthday gift for Brown, who will turn 23 years old on Thursday. The former No. 3 overall pick had an up-and-down season in 2018/19 after a modest breakout performance in 2017/18, averaging 13.0 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 1.4 APG on .465/.344/.658 shooting in 74 games (25.9 MPG).
Given Brown’s down year and the Celtics’ history of letting extension-eligible players reach restricted free agency, it initially looked as if the two sides were unlikely to work out a new deal this fall. However, Brown – who operated without an agent for his first three years in the NBA – recently hired Glushon to negotiate his extension, and his new agent came through, getting a deal done with just a few hours left before tonight’s deadline.
According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Glushon and Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge completed the majority of their negotiations over the weekend. This is Ainge’s first rookie scale extension for a Celtic since Rajon Rondo in 2009, Woj adds.
While it’s possible that Brown could’ve done a little better in restricted free agency next summer, there isn’t a massive difference between his new deal and a maximum-salary offer sheet. Based on the NBA’s latest projections, a four-year offer sheet from a rival suitor would have been worth $124.7MM. And if the cap for 2020/21 comes in any lower than $116MM, that projected max would drop along with it.
Boston will now count on continued improvements from Brown, who should take on a greater role in 2019/20 now that veterans like Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, and Marcus Morris are no longer on the roster. Brown is coming off a strong showing for Team USA in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, and is viewed as a potential impact player at both ends of the court.
Brown joins Ben Simmons (Sixers), Jamal Murray (Nuggets), Pascal Siakam (Raptors), Buddy Hield (Kings), and Caris LeVert (Nets) as players who have worked out rookie scale extensions this offseason. Brown’s deal falls in between Siakam’s ($129MM+) and Hield’s (between $86-106MM) in terms of overall four-year value.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The Celtics‘ backcourt has undergone some major changes in recent years, from Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley to Kyrie Irving to Kemba Walker. Through it all, Marcus Smart has been the one constant, having averaged 27 or more minutes per game for Boston for each of the last five seasons.
According to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe, Smart said he sometimes thinks about the possibility of spending his entire career with the Celtics, which is something he’d love to do. As Himmelsbach relays, Smart recognizes that player movement is a big part of today’s NBA, but would like to “be a part of something special” in Boston.
“I’m six years in now, and it feels like yesterday I was drafted,” the Celtics’ guard said. “It is funny to see all the faces I’ve seen come through the organization. But it’s a blessing and I’m blessed to be here still, and that’s rare. Usually guys are gone by now. I’m blessed to still be here.”
Here’s more from around the Atlantic:
- While the loss of Kawhi Leonard represented the Raptors‘ most significant roster shakeup this summer, the departure of starting shooting guard Danny Green shouldn’t be overlooked, as Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun writes. “He’s not flashy, his game isn’t very sexy, but I don’t know what he shot, 45% from three? Something crazy like that, at a high clip, played 80 games, played every night, guarded the best players on the other teams and he’s just solid every night,” Fred VanVleet said of Green. “… He didn’t do a lot of preaching and teaching, he just was here and (led) by example and we’ll miss that.”
- Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie has another meeting scheduled with the NBA today to discuss his plan to “tokenize” his contract, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times. The league previously said Dinwiddie’s plan violates the CBA but he views the new meeting as a “good faith” gesture and is hopeful an agreement can be reached, as he tweeted this morning. Meanwhile, Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com offers an interesting look at the specifics of Dinwiddie’s proposal.
- Kyrie Irving wasn’t thrilled that details of the Nets‘ and Lakers‘ Shanghai meeting with commissioner Adam Silver earlier this month leaked to the press, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “You want to keep those meetings private,” Irving said. “I don’t know how it necessarily materialized into a big story. I don’t know whose notes or who was in there that we can’t depend on to keep a conversation like that in-house.”
- Speaking of Irving, his former teammate Marcus Morris believes the Knicks‘ locker room will be healthier this season than the Celtics‘ was last season in part because New York doesn’t have a superstar player to cater to. “No knock on Ky, but obviously he’s a superstar, he’s first,” Morris said, per Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. “Sometimes his emotions were put in front of the team.”
We passed along a large number of moves yesterday as most teams cut their rosters down to the regular season limit. NBA.com’s Transactions Log has a few more that slipped under the radar involving players who were signed and waived to either ensure their affiliate rights or to make sure returning-rights players get bonuses:
- Celtics — guards Justin Bibbs and Dorian Pickens.
- Pelicans — guard Aubrey Dawkins.
- Suns — forwards Aaron Epps and Troy Williams.
- Jazz — forward Anthony Lawrence II.
Williams is the only one in the group with previous NBA experience. He played 21 games for the Kings last season and has appeared in a combined 72 games over the past three years. Bibbs signed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Clippers in March, but didn’t see any game action.
The Celtics trimmed their roster to the league limit by waiving Yante Maten and Max Strus, the team announced in a tweet. Boston also confirmed the release of Kaiser Gates, which appeared on NBA.com’s official transactions log last night.
The moves mean Javonte Green appears to have earned a roster spot to begin the season. The 26-year-old swingman had been playing overseas since going undrafted in 2015.
Green was reportedly battling for the final spot with Strus, who had his contract converted from a two-way deal this week and received a guarantee of nearly half the $898,310 minimum salary for a rookie this season.
Because his guarantee exceeds $50K, Strus is ineligible to join Boston’s G League team on a two-way deal or as an affiliate player.
Maten, who signed with the Celtics just before camp opened, was on a two-way contract with the Heat for most of last season. He appeared in only two NBA games, but earned second team All-G League honors at Sioux Falls.
Gates, who will turn 23 in November, spent most of last season with the Windy City Bulls after going undrafted out of Xavier. In 50 NBAGL games, the forward recorded 12.7 PPG and 6.4 RPG with a .408/.375/.786 shooting line.
The Maine Red Claws – Boston’s G League affiliate – acquired Gates’ returning rights from Windy City last month, so after joining the C’s for camp and the preseason, he’s on track to report to Maine and receive an Exhibit 10 bonus worth up to $50K if he spends 60 or more days with the club.
A Wednesday report suggested the Celtics have offered Jaylen Brown a four-year, $80MM contract extension and that the young swingman passed on that offer in search of a more lucrative deal. Appearing on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston on Thursday, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge referred to that report as “not accurate,” though he declined to offer any real specifics on the team’s talks with Brown.
“We are working to come to some result by Monday as our deadline, and the negotiations have gone well,” the Celtics’ top decision-maker said, per Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. “It’s just not an accurate report, that’s all. We’ve given him numerous offers. We’ve been negotiating for a little while. So, that’s all.”
Shams Charania of The Athletic wrote earlier today that multiple teams are watching the Celtics’ negotiations with Brown closely, since the soon-to-be-23-year-old would be a prime candidate for a big offer sheet if he reaches restricted free agency next summer. However, Ainge said that neither Brown nor the C’s are “too stressed” about the situation, as Forsberg notes.
- After assuming most of the scoring and play-making responsibilities in Charlotte, Kemba Walker is enjoying playing on a Celtics team that has players capable of sharing that burden, writes John Karalis of MassLive.com. “It takes a lot of pressure off me,” Walker said earlier this week. “I’m getting a lot of different shots as well, but I’m loving it, not having to do so much all the time. Hopefully my usage rate might be going down a little bit. It allows other guys to make plays and I can appreciate that for sure.”
Meanwhile, in other rookie scale extension news, Charania says several teams around the NBA are monitoring the negotiations between the Celtics and Jaylen Brown. Sources tell Charania that those teams are waiting to see if they’ll get a chance to “make Boston and GM Danny Ainge pay” with a big offer sheet for Brown next summer.
- Charania provides updates on a pair of roster battles, writing that Javonte Green is the favorite to become the Celtics‘ 15th man over Max Strus, while Marquese Chriss is “moving closer” to claiming a regular season roster spot with the Warriors.
Teams carrying players eligible for rookie scale extensions have five more days to beat the October 21 deadline and lock up those players to long-term deals, with Buddy Hield (Kings), Jaylen Brown (Celtics), and Pascal Siakam (Raptors) among the prime extension candidates.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports has updates on the extension talks for all three players, so let’s dive in and round up the highlights…
- The Kings have made Hield a four-year offer worth $90MM, league sources tell Haynes. However, the sharpshooter and agent Brandon Rosenthal are seeking a deal closer to $110MM. Based on the NBA’s latest cap projections for 2020/21, a four-year, maximum-salary contract for Hield with Sacramento would be worth just shy of $130MM, so even a $110MM deal would come in well below the max.
- Although the Celtics aren’t typically aggressive when it comes to finalizing rookie scale extensions, they’ve put a four-year, $80MM offer on the table for Brown, league sources tell Haynes. However, the swingman, who turns 23 next week, believes in his ability to become a star and is seeking a more lucrative offer.
- Siakam is the most likely player in this group to sign a new contract by Monday, according to Haynes, who refers to the Raptors‘ forward as a “virtual lock” to be extended. However, it will likely require a maximum-salary offer from Toronto, league sources inform Haynes. A five-year max for Siakam would be worth a projected $168MM, and could even get as high as $202MM if it includes Rose Rule language.
Theis, who has only started five of the 129 regular season games he’s played with Boston over the past two seasons, has more experience in Brad Stevens’ system than any other big man on the roster. That could give him an edge over Enes Kanter and Robert Williams. He’s also adept at making defensive switches.
“If you watch closely, that’s a tied-together group on that end of the court,” Stevens said of playing Theis with the other starters. Theis is making $5MM this season but his $5MM salary for 2020/21 is not guaranteed.
We have more on the Celtics:
- Max Strus is a serious candidate to get the 15th and final spot on the opening night roster, Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald tweets. The shooting guard just had his two-way contract converted to a standard two-year deal with a partial guarantee. The guarantee is worth $415K, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. However, he could still be waived, Murphy adds. The 23-year-old Strus went undrafted after playing his college ball at DePaul.
- Stevens offers high praise for his first-year players, including Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, Tacko Fall, and Carsen Edwards, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe tweets. “That’s as good of a group of rookie workers that I’ve ever been around …those guys grind,” he said.
- The team has picked up the 2020/21 options on Jayson Tatum and Williams. Get all the details here.