The future is bright for the Boston Celtics with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in the fold.
But that assumes Tatum and Brown will stick around.
Brown will become a restricted free agent after this season, meaning the Celtics have until Oct. 21 to sign the 22-year-old to an extension of his rookie deal or risk losing him next summer.
According to Heavy.com's Sean Deveney, the C's sound prepared to take that risk.
According to a league source, “the chance is pretty slim” that Brown signs a long-term deal with the team in the coming month. Around the league, the expectation is that Brown and the Celtics won’t come to a deal.
Brown has emerged as an integral two-way player for the C's since they selected him No. 3 overall in the 2016 NBA Draft. The versatile wing averaged 13 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists last season in a slight dip from his 2017-18 campaign but should see an expanded role in his fourth season with Kyrie Irving, Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris and Al Horford out of the picture.
As Deveney points out, Boston has been willing to let its young players reach restricted free agency in the past few years, most recently with Rozier, who signed a three-year, $50 million contract with the Charlotte Hornets this offseason. The C's also saw Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk depart in restricted free agency in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
That's not to say Danny Ainge couldn't work out a deal with Brown next offseason. The Celtics got to restricted free agency with Marcus Smart in 2018 only to re-sign him to a four-year, $52 million contract. But if Brown has a strong 2019-20 campaign and gets close to a max offer, it may be trickier for the C's to convince him to stay.
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