Glushon and Ainge spent the weekend negotiating. On Oct. 21, they announced they had agreed to a four-year, $115 million extension. “That was a unanimous decision,” Stevens says. “What Jaylen has done, as a young player in the role he’s been in, on the winning team he’s been on, there are not a lot of comparables. We want him to be here for a long time.” It was the first rookie-scale extension the Celtics had handed out since signing Rajon Rondo to one back in 2009. “That meant a lot,” Brown says. He adds, however, that signing the deal “definitely wasn’t the easiest decision. It wasn’t as easy as people think. I had a lot of inner battles.” Again, he doesn’t want to reveal too much. Only that: “Anytime you make a decision that affects your future, you gotta do your due diligence. This is the only time as a player I have this ability to think about myself. But ultimately I made the right decision.”
Here’s the next question: You’ve been in the NBA for nine years but have played only one team five times. Which team is that? Phoenix … I’ve only played Phoenix five times!? Yeah, but when you think about it, you played there for five or six years. Oh, yeah. And then I came East.
As one of the returnees on a team with eight newcomers, Kurucs was passed on the depth chart by multiple players until he recently found his stride. After such a promising rookie season in which he averaged 8.9 points per game on 45 percent shooting, Kurucs is averaging 4.3 points on 46 percent shooting this year. He still has the second-half of the year to prevent a sophomore slump, but given the Nets’ depth at forward and uncertainty surrounding his court case — he’s facing multiple domestic violence-related charges stemming from a September arrest — it’s hard not to wonder about his long-term future with the organization.
Antetokounmpo, the overwhelming favorite to win MVP again, believes that line of thinking should be turned the other way, toward the team that is currently on pace to become the third team in NBA history to win 70 games. “I don’t think there’s a team in this league we cannot beat,” Antetokounmpo said. No Eastern Conference team has recorded back-to-back 60-win seasons since James’s Cleveland Cavaliers from 2008-2010. These Bucks bear some resemblance to those Cavaliers.
huge assist here from Becky Hammond…she convinces Pop to challenge Jimmy Butler’s AND 1 continuation in tight game with one minute to play. Pop originally says no, then says yes. Spurs win challenge, points taken off board, and eventually win game. pic.twitter.com/CRlf2kaJDP