The free agency window isn’t over yet, but Danny Ainge wanted to remind fans who have been disrespecting him about everything he’s done.
Sure, Gordon Hayward seemingly has left and the Boston Celtics have nothing to show for him unless they and the Charlotte Hornets can work out a sign-and-trade. But Ainge found better replacements for Enes Kanter (in Tristan Thompson) and Brad Wanamaker (in Jeff Teague).
Oh, and he now has Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown locked up for the next few years.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski dropped the bomb this evening that the Celtics and Tatum reportedly agreed to a full rookie max extension, a five-year deal that could be worth up to $195.6 million.
In the words of our friend Isaiah Thomas, Boston backed up the Brinks truck for Tatum. To clarify, this extension absolutely was anticipated, and was more a matter of “when” than “if.”
It won’t impact Boston’s salary cap situation this year, as Tatum will finish out his rookie contract. The extension will begin with the 2021-22 season, but there are still some things that must be determined.
Could Tatum get a max salary worth 30% of the Celtics’ salary cap?
We broke this down back when Tatum made All-NBA Third Team, but long story short, the accolade qualified him for the supermax by virtue of the “Rose Rule,” which allows players who have been in the league less than seven years to earn that much if they’ve earned a nod for League MVP, Defensive Player of the Year or if they make an All-NBA Team.
A regular max contract would top a young player’s first extension at 25% of the cap. The supermax increases that percentage to between 28% and 30%.
If Tatum makes another All-NBA team or reaches any of the other two requirements this year, he and his agent can negotiate that contract up to $195,600,360 over five years.
The year-by-year salaries are just projections at this point, contingent on what the salary cap looks like over the next few seasons. Keith Smith of Yahoo! Sports and Celtics Blog is among the best in the business at breaking this stuff down:
That’s a lot of money. But you don’t see a lot of young players progressing at Tatum’s rate.
That brings us to out next takeaway: this extension reportedly has a player option during the fifth year, according to former Celtics executive Ryan McDonough.
We know the phrase “player option” may be a sensitive term in the aftermath of what just happened with Gordon Hayward, but we must mention it.
You don’t often see players get fifth-year player options, but Tatum is the type of superstar who absolutely could pull that off.
Even though this news was expected, it’s still great, as the Celtics will have Tatum and Brown under team control from now through at least the 2023-24 season.
Their ceilings are high, their primes are ahead of them, and more importantly, they know the importance of pushing each other and playing off one another.
So maybe Boston was one game short of the NBA Finals this past season, and since lost a piece key to their success, but this window is staying open for the next few years.