Celtics

Celtics

Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown signed a four-year, $115 million extension in October, putting to rest questions about what his restricted free agency could have looked like this summer.

Brown wasn't always confident he and the Celtics would reach a contract agreement before October's deadline, however. The 23-year-old star recently appeared on the "Woj Pod", hosted by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, where he gave an in-depth look into the process. In the end, the Celtics presented Brown an offer that he didn't want to pass up.

“To be honest, I came with the mindset I didn’t think that anything was going to get done,” Brown told Wojnarowski. “I wasn’t sure that anything was going to get done. The first offer was four years, $80 million. I didn’t think they were going to budge from that.

"So, I came with the mindset, I told (agent Jason) Glushon that, ‘Let’s see what can happen, you know?’ For me, I didn’t think Jason was going to be able to get anything done. I thought they were going to stay at ($80 million) and that was going to be it. I was hell-bent, I was already locked in, focused, ready to carry the weight that I was going to go into this year playing my fourth year out. And then they jumped up, and that just showed they wanted me here in the organization. They appreciated my value. They thought that I added to winning. It was an offer that was too hard to kind of turn down.”

 

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Brown wasn't the only notable player from the 2016 draft class to sign a lucrative extension.

Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons and Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray both signed five-year deals worth $170 million. Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam signed for four years and $130 million. New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram, who was drafted between Simmons (No. 1 overall) and Brown (No. 3 overall) was the only star player from the class who didn't reach an extension.

A lot of players ease up a bit and don't play with a sense of urgency after securing their first huge contract. Brown has been the opposite.

He's playing at an All Star level for the Celtics this season, and his per game averages of 20 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists all are career highs. Brown leads the Celtics with six games of 20-plus points and 10-plus rebounds. He also has 19 games of 20-plus points, which beats his previous career high of 17 such games in 2017-18.

The NBA is all about two-way wings these days. Many of the league's best players fit this mold, including LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Giannis Antetokounmpo (who also can play center). The Celtics have two of the rising stars at this position in Brown and Jayson Tatum. They aren't at the level of the veterans previously mentioned, but they have a pretty good chance to be one of basketball's best duos for a long time.

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