Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown was not named an NBA All-Star reserve when the league announced Thursday who would come off the bench to represent the Eastern and Western Conference teams.
However, with an injury plaguing Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, the captain of the East squad, Brown is among those who could be selected as an injury replacement. Brown, who was named an All-Star last season, likely will be vying for the spot with fellow guards Jrue Holiday, LaMelo Ball and Tyler Herro along with forwards Domantas Sabonis and Jarrett Allen.
The ultimate decision regarding Brown, as pointed out by ESPN’s Bobby Marks on Thursday before the reserve list was released, could financially impact the Celtics since Brown has a $1.4 million bonus if he was selected to the play in Cleveland.
It could even play a role in how the Celtics go about their business at the trade deadline, Marks shared, given that they will need to shed some amount of salary to get below the luxury tax line.
Check out an excerpt of what Marks wrote:
Brown’s All-Star status could put the Celtics in a tricky situation headed into the trade deadline. Boston is currently $2.75 million above the luxury tax line, but that includes the All-Star Game and games played bonuses for Brown. If he doesn’t hit those, Boston is just $850K above the luxury tax threshold and one minor trade (moving a player like Bruno Fernando and cash) away from going under (the tax).
However, Brown failing to make the team as a reserve on Thursday night isn’t enough to ensure the Celtics won’t have to worry about his bonus. Because the All-Star Game itself isn’t until Feb. 20, 10 days after the trade deadline, there’s always the possibility that Brown is selected as an injury reserve after the deadline passes. Because of that, the Celtics will have to operate as if they need to shed at least $2.8 million in salary at the deadline to duck the tax.
If Brown does not get selected, as Marks added, his bonus will not count against the luxury tax this season. NBA commissioner Adam Silver will chose who fills Durant’s spot as an injury reserve.
Jayson Tatum already will represent the Celtics at the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 20, but is hoping Brown will join him.