When the Boston Celtics inked Jaylen Brown to a four-year, $115 million deal on Tuesday, plenty of C's fans were happy to see their prized 22-year-old forward get locked up for a few more seasons. But the deal left some NBA executives scratching their heads.
Brown's talent isn't in question, but rather the hefty price tag Danny Ainge dished out to keep the 2016 first-round draft pick from becoming a restricted free agent next summer. One Eastern Conference executive told Bleacher Report, "I like the player, but..." suggesting $115 million over four years was an overpay.
Meanwhile, a Western Conference exec said of Brown's lucrative contract, "I imagine there are incentives. Gotta be." That's a correct assumption, as Brown will make $4 million if he plays in at least 65 games, the C's rack up at least 49 wins, and they make it to the second round of the playoffs according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. He'll also get up to $8 million if he earns league MVP honors, the Defensive Player of the Year award, or is named to an All-NBA team.
Considering all of those incentives, the exec added, "That makes [the contract] a bit more reasonable."
Another criticism of the deal, per Bleacher Report, came from an agent who asked, "I don't get it. What's the rush to get a deal done?"
The contract may not have earned a 100-percent approval rating across the league, but the Celtics at least won't have to worry about a key piece of their young core potentially heading elsewhere anytime soon. Plus, it wasn't all negative feedback as one East exec called Brown "a stud" and believes he'll be worth the big money.
Only time will tell whether that's the case. Brown's chance to prove his worth begins on Wednesday night as he and the C's will begin the 2019-20 season vs. the Philadelphia 76ers.
NBC Sports Boston's coverage of C's-Sixers starts at 6:30 p.m ET. Wednesday with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike Gorman and Brian Scalabrine have the call of the game at 7:30 p.m. ET.
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