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The Jaylen Brown Extension Is One Of The World's Greatest Mysteries

2019 NBA Playoffs: Boston Celtics Vs Milwaukee Bucks At Fiserv Forum

One of the more intriguing storylines of the upcoming season for the Celts will be what happens with Jaylen Brown. I’m pretty confident in thinking the two sides won’t reach an agreement on a rookie extension before the start of next summer for a couple reasons. First, it’s not all that surprising that the Celts haven’t reached out yet, Danny Ainge pretty much never gives rookie extensions. Rondo was the last player to get one, so right off the bat if you were hoping that would get done this summer you’re fooling yourself (barring something crazy). There’s also the fact that Jaylen probably thinks he’s worth a certain price, the Celts without a doubt think it’s much, much lower, and they want to see what happens in this prove it year before they lock themselves into a certain price. That then brings us to the role question. In a contract year, will Jaylen be OK with coming off the bench again? Will the team finally give him a role and usage high enough to see if he’s worth investing in long term? Will his contract year look more like Terry Rozier on the court or Marcus Morris? Do they maybe trade him at the deadline for a piece if they aren’t willing to max him out? There are a ton of questions surrounding one of their more important pieces as we head into next season.

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In terms of the market for Jaylen, it’s so hard to figure out in my opinion. We live in a world where the Rozier/Brogdon’s of the world are making around $20M a year. Then you also have guys from Jaylen’s class that got massive max deals in Ben Simmons and Jamal Murray. To me, Jaylen is probably somewhere in between those deals, with a baseline of that $20M. If you look at the 2016 class, only Simmons/Murray have received their rookie extensions and those make sense as they are key pieces to their respective franchises. An overpay maybe, but they make sense. If Jaylen hits RFA next summer,  you look at the UFA market and it’s pretty gross

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There are a couple guys with Player Options like Gordon Hayward, DeMar DeRozan and Andre Drummond, but for the most part it’s not a star studded class. To me that means maybe teams with space are more willing to throw a big offer sheet at someone like Jaylen in hopes they can pry him away.

The reality of today’s NBA is if you have a good promising young player, you’re going to have to pay him as if he’s an All Star. That’s just the way things work now. Of that 2016 class, only Simmons has made an All Star team, but guys like Jaylen, Domantas Sabonis, Buddy Hield, and Caris LeVert are most likely going to be paid like one. We certainly say that with Murray/Brogdon already. From the Celtics standpoint I think a lot will depend on what happens with Hayward. If he opts out and leaves, obviously the Celts will match whatever offer Jaylen gets. If he proves to be Utah Hayward, maybe Ainge is then more inclined to move someone like Jaylen next summer for pieces. The entire thing is a giant unknown that we all just have to hope it doesn’t fuck things up during the season.

Would it shock me if he found a way to secure a contract of 4/100? Nope. Would something like 4/75-80M probably be closer to what Ainge wants? Probably. We’ve seen Jaylen show up in each of the last two postseasons, but we can all agree we need to see a legit jump this year. He does that, and someone is going to max him out which will leave Danny Ainge with a big time decision to make.

If it were you, where would you settle on Jaylen’s price? Would you max him no matter what if he shows out this year? If the Celts truly believe in Jaylen and his potential, I feel like they have to.

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