The Boston Celtics and Jaylen Brown have agreed to a five-year $304 million supermax contract extension, the richest in NBA history.
The contract keeps the 26-year-old in Boston through the 2028-2029 NBA season. The contract will kick in at the beginning of the 2024-2025 season with the beginning annual salary of just over $56 million. The annual salary grows about $4.2 million each year, resulting in brown making just south of $70 million in the final year of the deal.
The Boston wing player is coming off his best statistical season of his career where he averaged 26.6 PPG, 6.9 RPG, and shot 49% from the field. Brown has been a crucial piece to the Celtics championship-contending roster that has made it to the Eastern Conference Finals in five of the last seven seasons.
Brown is undisputedly trending towards being one of the top-end players in the league after making his second All Star game last season and All-NBA Second Team honors, but is he the caliber of player to represent the richest contract in NBA history?
It’s certainly up for debate, especially due to recency bias. The last time we saw JB on the court was in the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat. Essentially all of his numbers were down compared to the regular season at one of the biggest stages in the NBA season. He scored the ball less effectively at 19 PPG on poor shooting splits (42 FG%, 16 3P%, 67 FT%).
On top of his issues to score the ball at a decent rate, he also struggled to control the rock to produce offense for his team. 3.6 turnovers per game in the Eastern Conference Finals with eight coming in a 'win or go home' Game 7 and six in Game 1, doesn’t exactly set the tone for a player who will shortly after receive a supermax contract.
On a positive note, Brown has exceeded expectations of many NBA fans since the Celtics used the No. 3 pick on him back at the 2016 NBA Draft. One of Brown’s glaring concerns coming into the league was his ability to shoot. In one year at the University of California, Brown shot 43% from the field, 29% from deep, and 65% from the free throw line. Since joining the league, he has shot at least 34% from deep in six-of-seven seasons in the league, while his free throw percentage has for the most part steadily increased year-to-year leading to 76% in the regular season last year.
JB has shown the ability to work on his “weaknesses” and improve on them over time. After the 2023 playoffs, I have no question that ball handling will be a major focus for the two-time All Star.
While considering all of this, the question still remains; Is Jaylen Brown worthy of a five-year $304 million contract? Brandon and I discuss that today on ‘In The Zone’ at the top of the show at 3 p.m. Tune in on 96.9 The Game or the iHeartMedia App.