NBA free agency

Does finally choosing an agent mean it's time for a long-term deal with Celtics for Jaylen Brown

Does finally choosing an agent mean it's time for a long-term deal with Celtics for Jaylen Brown

BOSTON -- Change is in the air and with the hair when it comes to Jaylen Brown this season. 

But a new, low-cut ‘do isn’t the only change Brown is focused on making this season. 

Heading into his fourth season, Brown is exploring the possibility of hiring an agent to represent him in negotiations with the Celtics on what the 22-year-old hopes will be a long-term deal that’ll keep him in Boston. 

And the reason for getting an agent now versus earlier in his career when he was on his rookie contract with salaries already slated, can be summed up in two words - Danny Ainge. 

“Danny’s good at his job; Danny’s really good at his job,” Brown, with a smile, told NBC Sports Boston. “All credit to him. He’s going to do his job to the best of his ability.”

Brown said he has been able to sit back and watch for the past three years how Ainge, the Celtics' president of basketball operations, and the team operate when it comes to negotiating contracts.

They are tough negotiators which is why more times than not, an extension doesn’t get done prior to the start of the season. The last Celtics player to get an extension from their rookie contract was Rajon Rondo in 2009.

And with Brown being the latest Celtic eligible for a contract extension, he understands all too well that he might need some help to get a deal done that he feels is close to being fair market value for his talent.  

“It’s not like this year, I expected anything less,” Brown said. “I’ve been paying attention since I got here. I knew this day would come eventually. It’s a credit to him; Danny is really good at his job. He’s going to do … chess moves, whatever he can to do his job well, to the best of his ability.”

As important as getting a new deal is to Brown's future, he's not going to let it consume him or lead to him changing his approach or attitude towards the game. 

“I’m not going to say anything or get out of character or emotional about it,” said Brown, adding that he is “moving in that direction” of picking an agent but isn’t ready to make an announcement about who it is just yet. “At the end of the day, it’s business - especially to the Boston Celtics.”

The deadline for Brown to come to terms on an extension with Boston is Oct. 21, but all indications are that the deadline will come and go without an agreement reached. That would make Brown one of the more coveted restricted free agents in the summer of 2020. 

One of the benefits of having an agent at this point in his career is so that the negotiating of a deal, whether it be this month or next summer, doesn’t in any way interfere or becomes a distraction to what matters most to Brown which is to play well and positively impact winning. 

“You just want someone there to do their job and represent you well,” Brown said when asked what he’s looking for from an agent. “Someone that’s going to be open with you … somebody that you trust and Danny respects; Danny and the front office respects. They’re good, the Boston Celtics, they’re good at what they do. They’re not going to make any moves unless they’re sure; they’re certain. I don’t expect anything less.”

Brown said the process for choosing an agent began last season. 

“I knew [then] that this time would come,” Brown said. 

Brown said he has had discussions with around five or so agents, which was followed up in many instances by multiple conversations just to get to know them better as well as get a better handle on the services they offer and a better feel for what he will need for them to provide. 

“Just sitting down with them asking, what they offer versus what you need; you make a pros and cons list of what you need and what you don’t need,” Brown said. 

Throughout his career in Boston, the 6-foot-7 wing has shown noticeable growth in at least one aspect of his game from one year to the next. 

Another year of consistently showing that kind of improvement can do nothing but make him a more coveted prospect when he hits free agency this summer. 

Knowing how important a year this is for both him and the Celtics, hiring an agent will allow him to do a better job of locking in and focus on just playing the game.

“I don’t feel any pressure. I just want to be able to come out and play,” Brown said. “I feel like I trust in my ability, I trust in my team and I trust in the front office. They’ll make the decision that’s best for them, and I’m OK with that.”

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Draymond Green's extension could impact a couple of Celtics

Draymond Green's extension could impact a couple of Celtics

Draymond Green will sign a four-year, $100 million max extension with the Golden State Warriors, according to an ESPN report. And the reverberations from that team-friendly pact could be felt 3,000 miles away.

Green’s extension removes another big name from the list of potential 2020 free agents. That’s notable for the Celtics, who could have two of their key players wading into free agency next summer in Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward.

Brown, 22, is extension eligible this summer but it seems unlikely that he will ink a deal before the start of the season. Brown will have the motivation to assert himself this season and escalate his price tag, while the Celtics have the security of knowing Brown will be a restricted free agent, giving them the opportunity to match any offer he receives next summer

Still, a market thin on big names might make Brown that much more intriguing, particularly to teams trying to build around young talent. Other players from Brown's 2016 draft class — Jamal Murray and Ben Simmons — have already cashed in with five-year, $170 million extensions. Working in Boston’s favor: There might not be a lot of teams with ample cap space to splurge and the drool-worthy list of names that could potentially be on the free-agent market in 2021 will encourage teams to spend cautiously.

Hayward is another interesting situation. He owns a player option on the fourth and final year of the $128 million pact he signed with Boston in July 2017. It feels unlikely Hayward would walk away from $34.2 million but, with a bounce-back year, there could be motivation. Hayward will have 10 years of NBA service after this season and, at age 30 next summer, he could potentially seek security on the open market. Given his decade of experience, Hayward could command up to 35 percent of a cap that’s been projected at $117 million.

That means Hayward’s starting salary could potentially be nearly $41 million. Of course, that means he’d have to reestablish himself as an All-Star talent now further removed from the ankle injury he suffered five minutes into his first game with the Celtics, but it’s something to ponder, particularly if there’s not a lot of must-have names on the open market.

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Isaiah Thomas's quip on Twitter brings back Brinks Truck memories

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Isaiah Thomas's quip on Twitter brings back Brinks Truck memories

Following an All-NBA second team and top-five MVP candidate performance for the Celtics in 2016-17, Isaiah Thomas wanted Boston to back up the Brinks truck. Thomas was entering the final year of his contract, and he believed his production warranted a max contract. 

Of course, he and the Celtics weren't on the same page. 

Boston shipped him off to Cleveland in the deal for Kyrie Irving, and Thomas's hip injury prevented him from performing at his prior MVP-level. 

On Wednesday, when one Twitter user tried to take a dig at Thomas's Brinks truck comment, the now-Washington guard reminded the world — and Jeff — how it actually went down. 

After failing to gain traction in Cleveland and Denver due to a slow recovery from hip surgery, Thomas signed a 1-year, minimum deal in free agency with the Washington Wizards this summer. He played in just 12 games for the Nuggets last year. 

The real reason why the Brinks truck is back in the news is because of how Jacksonville Jaguars corner back Jalen Ramsey used one as a prop on the first day of training camp. Notice the fanfare — or lack thereof — to the outspoken Ramsey's charade. 

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