Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The Boston Celtics and Jaylen Brown couldn’t agree on an early contract extension worth $80M over the next four years.

Going down memory lane is pointless, disingenuous Monday morning quarterbacking. Watching people laugh themselves into a busted gut when Jaylen Brown turns down a $80 million offer from the Boston Celtics, to stay on board for four extra years; it just shows NBA Twitter isn’t really any different than any other faction of Twitter.

People take one trip to BasketballReference.com and suddenly everyone knows who this player is and how much he is worth, despite only seeing him play on (if I’m being generous) a handful of occasions. Reading people’s grievances towards Brown, listing off reasons why he sucks is like when Bill Simmons blames Sony Michel for not breaking tackles from significantly bigger men than he is.

They don’t know anything, they are desperate for retweets and likes because they believe Twitter is the vehicle that’ll take them to stardom – never mind social media’s rarely done that for anyone commentating on sports.

Brown recently turned down a modest contract extension from the Celtics worth $80 million for four-years. To put into context, similarly talented player Tobias Harris inked a $64 million contract with Orlando for the same amount of years.

The optimistic view of Brown is he is in the middle of developing into a Klay Thompson like scorer. But Thompson showed signs early in his career of an elite stroke from long range. While Brown is far from poor in that area, he’ll never grow into half of what Thompson’s become. The better comparison for Brown is the aforementioned Tobias Harris:

Harris, 2012-2014: 46/28/79, 10.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 106 ORtg, 16 PER,

Brown, 2016-2019: 46/36/65, 11.2 points, 4 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 104 ORtg, 12.8 PER.

Brown should be grateful he’s received his extension at the price he did. Times are about to go haywire with the fiasco brewing in China between NBA League Offices. Over $22 million a season is beyond what Brown can expect at this very time, and possibly the summer; no matter how great Brown is.

Is Brown better than Harrison Barnes, who was paid $94.4 million in the hectic summer of 2016? Yes. By far. But Barnes had leverage. He was coming off a career year. The cap was spiking upward exponentially. Money was to be spent by 99 percent of NBA teams. That isn’t the case for the NBA in next summer.

There is a time and place to demand a six-figure salary, preferably your third contract. It’s when the team exceeds the salary cap and pays a player like Jaylen Brown the money they desire. To do so on the second contract is insane. There are too many variables to take into account before tying yourself to Brown to an almost un-tradable contract.

What if the Boston Celtics are still saddled with Gordon Hayward beyond 2020? Hayward has a player-option worth $34 million for 2020-21. Under normal circumstances, he’d likely decline the option and go into free agency. But as we all know, Hayward is rehabbing from a traumatic ankle injury which robbed him two full seasons of his prime. Perhaps 2019-20 will be a bounce back year for him. But if it isn’t, he likely isn’t seeing that kind of money on the open market. If the Celtics sign Brown to what he is asking, then the Celtics are really in trouble.

The Boston Celtics will have to pay Jayson Tatum, too. While no fan would hesitate to locking up Tatum, his offensive game consistently scores better than Brown’s and his defensive efforts go un-deservingly unheralded. It is worthy to note a premature, expensive Brown extension at this time locks the Celtics into these two guys as the vocal point of the squad for the foreseeable future. While we love them both, it’s unlikely a Tatum-Brown front-court is a recipe for success. Quality seasons? Sure. Championship contention? Eh…

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