(Boston Globe) - Celtics forward Jaylen Brown was eligible to agree to a five-year, $295 million super-max contract extension with the Celtics at 12:01 a.m. July 1. But two weeks have passed without a deal, with seemingly everyone other than the involved parties wondering why negotiations seem to be moving slowly. Now, it appears the process will be delayed at least a bit more.
According to a league source, although talks between Brown and the Celtics have been progressing, Brown, a National Basketball Players Association vice president, is headed overseas for an organizational event, and he plans to meet with the Celtics again when he returns.
It’s unclear how long Brown will be gone, but there is expected to be a temporary pause in the negotiations during his absence. The source stressed that Brown’s departure is not related to any setback with the Celtics; he is simply honoring a previously scheduled commitment.
While most of the basketball world focuses on the Damian Lillard trade drama, we also can't ignore the other extremely exhausting topic of Jaylen Brown's supermax extension.
Hand up, I did not think that once the clock hit July 1 that there wasn't going to immediately be a Shams/Woj bomb announcing the deal. All the reports from guys like Himmelsbach (aka the Celtics) made it clear that the team was willing to offer the full supermax, so I think a lot of us figured it was coming the second the team was officially allowed to offer it.
Then it didn't happen.
Then a few days went by.
Then a few more.
Then we heard they were going to talk in Vegas
Then nothing still was announcing
And now things are on "pause" while Jaylen heads out for an organizational event. I dunno, I'm not exactly an expert on NBA contract negotiations, but given how this situation was explained to us before free agency, the delay certianly is a little surprising. You do have to remember though, Jaylen signed his last extension right before hte season started so it's not as if this is anything new, it's just that when the team made sure to put out they were willing to fork over the full amount and here we are two weeks later and nothing has been signed, you can understand why fans might be a little tense.
Himmelsbach even reiterated that this doesn't appear to be about the money
By all indications, the Celtics are offering Brown a full max contract. The holdup is likely related to incentive structure, or clauses such as a fifth-year player option like the one fellow Celtics All-Star Jayson Tatum received when he agreed to his extension in 2020.
I know there were some who got all worked up about the player option, but I say who gives a shit. That 5th year option isn't new nor is it reserved for only 1st Team All NBA players. There are a ton of players on a max or supermax contract that have the final year as a player option. That feels like a weird thing to be this hung up on. Either he turns it down in an effort to re-up with new TV deal money, or he opts in which at that point you probably trade him anyway since he could then walk for nothing after the season. As we know, NBA extensions don't mean shit anymore anyways in terms of players demanding a trade, so again I say who cares. Give him the player option and be done with it.
That's why I would put more stock into the incentive structure part. The thing is, we have no idea how these supermax contracts are going to be handled by teams in the new CBA era. What I mean by that is now with all the 2nd apron shit, maybe incentives are now going to be what teams are forced to do when it comes to offering these supermax deals. The Celts just so happen to be the first ones to deal with one of these things, so in a sense, they are setting the precedent. For all we know Tatum might have the same incentive situation for his deal next summer because teams now have to be way smarter about how they set up their cap sheet.
Ultimately ending at 35% of the cap might not be a problem, but maybe this is a way for the team and player to have their cake and eat it too. If the player hits those incentives chances are the team is probably pretty good and contending and everyone gets what they want. If he doesn't, he still gets a fuck ton of money the team saves a little around the margins which is going to be so important moving forward.
Unfortunately, fans are impatient. We want a solution to this situation and we wanted it yesterday. That's more fans just being selfish because everyone is bored during the NBA slow period. While I am a little surprised we still don't have a deal two weeks in, I'm not going to stress until I see the Woj bomb that the two sides could not reach any sort of extension and Jaylen is now on the trade block, because make no mistake if there is no extension this summer the Celtics hand is forced and they have to trade him.
I just don't see that happening. A supermax with incentives is still beyond generational wealth, and nobody turns that shit down. But with Jaylen now off to travel overseas, who the hell knows when this actually gets resolved.