The Celtics and All-NBA Guard/Forward Jaylen Brown agreed to a historic contract yesterday. The Celtics gave Brown a 5 year, $304 million dollar contract. It’s the biggest contract in NBA history. Obviously, this giant supermax deal ends any speculation of the Celtics trading Brown, and shows their commitment to him. They obviously believe Jaylen Brown is a cornerstone player who can help the team finally get over the top and win an NBA Championship. The Celtics are among the best teams in the league in terms of developing players, and Brown is no exception.
A or supermax contract, is the most money a team is allowed to offer a player under the salary cap. A supermax contract is valued up to 35 percent of the salary cap in the initial year and subject to eight percent escalation in each subsequent year. In other words, any player getting a deal like this is getting PAID. There is a long and sometimes questionable history when it comes to these contracts. Supermax contracts have recently been signed by superstars Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Nikola Jokic. Clearly, these have all worked out for both player and team. However, on the other side of the token, some supermax contracts that haven’t worked out include Russell Westbrook, John Wall, and Rudy Gobert.
These contracts are designed for cornerstone players who will be elite players for years to come. These contracts are designed to be either 4 or 5 year deals, so longevity and player health play a crucial role in determining whether or not it is wise to give out this type of money to one player. Sign the wrong player to a supermax, and you’ll set the entire franchise back for years.
The Celtics are clearly confident that Brown can be someone who helps them win a championship. There’s little reason to doubt the Celtics, but it’s worth asking if they did this because they couldn’t find a worthwhile trade for him. We will likely never know, but it’s undeniable that the Celtics view Brown as an integral part of of the team, both now and for years to come. Time will tell if they made the right call.