The Boston Celtics have offered swingman Jaylen Brown a new contract that would pay him significantly more than he is making under his rookie deal, but the fourth-year player feels he is worth more than what the team wants to pay him.
The Celtics recently offered Brown a four-year deal worth $80 million, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports. Brown, who is scheduled to become a restricted free agent following the season, turned it down.
Brown, 22, is pursuing a bigger offer than $20 million per year, believing he is in a prime position to become one of the top players on the restricted free agent market next summer. He is essentially gambling on himself, as his numbers were down a bit last season and he did not have the type of breakout year some predicted he would. Brown averaged 13.0 points per game after averaging 14.5 the year before, but he could have an opportunity to play a bigger role this season with Kyrie Irving out of the picture.
The Celtics will have the ability to match any offer Brown receives if he becomes a restricted free agent in July, though they just signed Kemba Walker to a max contract and may decide to offer Jayson Tatum a rookie-scale max extension next offseason. Tatum is under team control for two more seasons and is scheduled to become a restricted free agent in July 2021.
While it might make retaining their core more challenging, the Celtics are hoping both Brown and Tatum thrive this season with Irving having left in free agency. Many believe Irving’s style of play and personality stunted the growth of some of Boston’s young players, and Brown was among those who appeared to be pleased to see the star point guard go. Time will tell if that translates to an improvement in his game.