• Gus Saltonstall

The $115M Man: Why I Love The Jaylen Brown Contract


Branded Sports

The Boston Celtics recently agreed to give fourth year player Jaylen Brown a four-year deal that could be worth as much as $115 million.

The agreement between the player and organization comes in the wake of Brown, very publicly, turning down a 4-year deal worth $80 million.

The contract announcement turned some heads across the NBA media landscape, but the majority of the negative chirping was contained to the Twitter world. It’s undoubtedly a hefty sum of money to be dishing out to a player who’s never averaged 15 points, and Brown’s contract easily out valued the other three players who received rookie extensions in the same week:

  • Domantas Sabonis: Four-year, $77 million (Includes $8 million in incentives.)

  • Buddy Hield: Four-year, $86 million (Includes $20 million in incentives.)

  • Dejounte Murray: Four-year, $64 million.

I for one, though, love the contract.

I think every important determinant points to the fact that the Celtics should take the risk with Brown.

Starting with the fact that it’s not actually $115 million. Out of that large payday, $103 million of it is guaranteed. It’s still a larger than usual portion of guaranteed cash, but $8 million of the remaining $12 million will only be given out if Brown wins the MVP or Defensive Player of the Year, and then the extra $4 million will be dependent on Brown playing a certain amount of games each season.

Boston hasn’t actually signed an extension to a rookie contract since Rajon Rondo in 2009. So what do they see?

Let’s start with something that has nothing to do with basketball. Jaylen Brown is a youngin'. The Cal product is going into his fourth year, yet he’s only 22 years old. To give some perspective on that, De’Andre Hunter, who was picked in the first round of the 2019 Draft, is already 21 years old.

Brown quite literally has more hours put in at the NBA level than almost any 22 year old alive.

The position Brown plays also adds his value. There is no more important player in basketball than the wing player who can contribute on both sides of the floor. Small ball lineups are still the way of the future, and players like LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and countless others are the most dominant forces in the league.

If you’re going to take a risk with a contract, it should almost always go to the 6’9 small forward, before it’s given to a point guard or center.

The numbers behind Jaylen Brown is the next place we have to go. Brown only played 17 minutes a game his rookie season, and his stats from his first year skew his career averages. Looking at only his second and third year, though, Brown is averaging 13.7 points, 4.5 boards and 1.5 assists on an efficient .532% effective field goal percentage.

It’s a collection of solid, but un-spectacular numbers on Brown’s part. However, it takes only a quick look at the jumps of a few current NBA superstars between their third and fourth year — to make Celtics fans feel better about the Brown contract.

Paul George took his scoring average from 17.4 in his third season to 21.7 in his fourth. It was also the first time he made an All-Star team, and truly introduced himself as a force to be reckoned with in the NBA.

The defending MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo also had a similar jump from his third to fourth year. The Greek Freak was a first time All-Star in his fourth season as well.

Antetokounmpo

Year 3: 16.9 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists

Year 4: 22.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists

I’m a firm believer that Jaylen Brown will have a strong jump in his fourth year of play. It’s a season where we see players in similar positions make big jumps, and with the Celtics no longer being dominated by the play of Kyrie Irving — he has a massive chance to step up.

To say it again, I love this contract.

#Celtics #GusSaltonstall