Jaylen Brown is eligible this NBA offseason for a supermax extension, raising questions about his future with the Celtics.

But arguing whether Boston should hand Brown a five-year, $295 million contract ultimately could prove pointless. Because the real debate centers around the Celtics’ next move — after said extension — and not so much whether he’s worth such a lucrative payday.

As an NBA general manager recently explained to Heavy.com’s Steve Bulpett, you don’t just let a player of Brown’s caliber walk away for nothing. Instead, you lock him up long-term and then figure out a path forward from there.

“I hear fans up there are debating whether to give Brown the supermax, but at some point the numbers don’t really matter,” the GM told Bulpett. “First of all, the guy is one of the better players in the league. Start there. I know people are all upset about his last game, and sure he was bad, but that was a team-wide collapse. Just take a step back and look at where he is and what he can do. The guy can play.

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“But the main reason why everyone out here knows they have to get something done with him is that you can never afford to lose an asset like that. … Even if you sign him and things don’t work out with your team down the line, you have a player of value. All-Star players can attract free agents who want to play with them, or you can use your player as an asset in a trade.”

Basically, there’s a case for the Celtics making significant changes this summer despite losing in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals one season after falling just two wins short of an NBA title. The C’s haven’t been able to get over the hump, and supermax extensions for Brown this offseason and Jayson Tatum next offseason not only will prove expensive, especially when factoring in the tax implications. They’ll also make it more difficult to build a strong supporting cast around the two superstars.

But Brown, a two-time All-Star firmly in his prime at age 26, simply is too valuable. If the Celtics determine he’s not part of the solution, they can trade him, presumably for a massive haul. Letting him slip away in free agency, on the other hand, would make no sense.

There are plenty of teams across the NBA who would love to add a player of Brown’s caliber, even at such an exorbitant salary, and that must be part of any calculus regarding Boston’s roster moving forward.

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Featured image via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images