It took a bit longer than anticipated, but Jaylen Brown is set to become the league’s highest-paid player.
Brown and the Celtics have agreed to a five-year, supermax contract extension worth up to $304 million, per multiple reports.
Brown — who became eligible to sign the supermax on July 1 after earning Second-Team All-NBA honors this season — will make $31.8 million in 2023-24 on the final year of his current contract before his extension kicks in for the 2024-25 season and pays him through 2029. Brown’s deal doesn’t include a player option for the fifth season, so he’ll be under team control through 2028-29.
Whether Brown is still with the Celtics in 2029 remains to be seen. This extension obviously is an indicator of Boston’s belief in their All-Star wing, and the Celtics’ recent acquisition of Kristaps Porzingis in a blockbuster trade indicates their intention of building a championship contender around Brown and Jayson Tatum.
On the other hand, if both Tatum and Porzingis sign extensions, Boston’s new “Big Three” will account for more than 80 percent of the team’s salary cap in 2024-25, when the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement kicks in and imposes harsh penalties on teams that exceed the second tax apron.
That percentage jumps to nearly 90 percent in 2025-26 and would force president of basketball operations Brad Stevens to get very creative filling out the rest of his roster if he wants to keep Tatum, Brown and Porzingis together.
Those are future problems, however, and in the short term, Brown is guaranteed to be a Celtic through at least the 2023-24 season due to the supermax’s one-year no-trade clause. While turnover issues plagued Brown during the postseason, he’s coming off a career season in which he averaged 26.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game on 49.1 percent shooting.
The Celtics are banking on Brown carrying that momentum into the 2023-24 campaign and reaching a new level to help Boston raise Banner 18.