Don’t expect the Celtics and Jaylen Brown to agree to a contract extension before the Oct. 21 deadline for fourth-year players to reach new deals. Brown has not yet hired an agent and the Celtics have historically never offered extensions to players after their third season.
Brown said he isn’t concerned with his contract status and won’t carry that burden into the season. But 2020 could be an expensive summer for the Celtics, who will also have Jayson Tatum up for a new deal. Tatum is expected to ask for the same money as Simmons and Murray, especially if he takes major steps toward becoming an All-Star.
That reality changes though this fall, as Brown is eligible to agree to a contract extension with Boston ahead of an October 21st deadline. A trio of notable first-round picks have already agreed to terms on a long-term pact with Ben Simmons and Jamal Murray (five-year max) setting the market and Caris LeVert (three years, $52 million) signing a more modest extension with the Brooklyn Nets. The Celtics have a lengthy track record (10 years) of not coming to terms on an extension with their first-round picks, and that’s a reality that Brown is very much aware of as he begins negotiations with Danny Ainge and company. Brown confirmed to BSJ that the Celtics have reached out recently to begin discussions.
“I’ve been able to watch these guys for three years,” Brown told BostonSportsJournal.com. “They have their process. They like to take their time. There is no rush at all. I don't know if they feel rushed. I hope they don't. There is no rush. They will figure it out or not figure it out. Either way is fine with me.”
Brian Robb: Jaylen Brown on potential extension: "I'm not losing any sleep over it. Stuff like that will end up working itself out in the end. I'm focused on the season and playing basketball. Let the chips fall where they may."
Brown has made it through three years without an agent. His mother has handled a lot of the responsibilities, and he has worked with a marketing executive. And that was probably a savvy play on his part, as rookie contracts are locked in anyway. But these negotiations are different. One league source said it appears that Brown will retain an agent for these talks. The problem for Brown is that he has not really shown statistical improvement over his three seasons. His per-36-minute numbers are almost identical. So the Celtics will likely be reluctant to make a max extension offer. But it’s unlikely Brown would settle for much less. The probable result is that no deal is finalized before the season begins, meaning Brown will enter next summer as a restricted free agent.
Celtics forward Jaylen Brown could well have as much untapped talent as any young player in the NBA. He was brought along slowly in his first year in Boston and has not had the opportunity to show his full potential as the Celtics have stocked the roster with free-agent talent like Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward (and, now, Kemba Walker). That makes the next four weeks somewhat awkward for Brown and the Celtics, who have until October 21 to agree to a contract extension. According to a league source, “the chance is pretty slim” that Brown signs a long-term deal with the team in the coming month. Around the league, the expectation is that Brown and the Celtics won’t come to a deal.
There’s a chance that approach could backfire with Brown, though. He is highly regarded around the league. He will turn 23 in a month and could have star potential. “It only takes one team to think he is a max player and then he is a max player,” one NBA front-office executive said. “You don’t see a lot of max deals in restricted free agency and the Celtics can match, so it’s still something that can work in their favor. But there will be teams with money next summer and making an offer for a guy his age, with his best basketball in front of him, makes sense.”
Jaylen Brown is eligible for a new long-term deal as well as he enters his fourth NBA season, but the 22-year-old wing told BostonSportsJournal.com on Wednesday at Thomas & Mack Center that the team has not discussed an extension yet with him. "I haven't heard from them," Brown told BSJ. "The ball is in their court."
Jared Weiss: Jaylen Brown plans to talk with the front office about a potential rookie contract extension before deciding whether to hire an agent. He has been using power agent Aaron Goodwin as his rep for his endorsement deals and Shareef Abdur-Rahim as his advisor (also a Goodwin client).