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East GM would be ‘very, very surprised’ if Jayson Tatum doesn’t get max contract

Boston Celtics small forward Jayson Tatum is eligible for a contract extension this offseason, and he’s expected to get a max deal from the Beantown franchise.

That’s at least what one Eastern Conference general manager thinks.

“I think he is getting a max extension,” an Eastern Conference general manager told HoopsHype. “That may be one where you have some incentives in the deal; I mean, it’s not like he’s LeBron James or Giannis Antetokounmpo. But he’s pretty close to being a Top 20 player, if he isn’t already, and he’s still so young. Usually, you’re trying to keep goodwill with a player like that.

“Maybe it’ll be a max deal with certain likely bonuses – some fairly attainable incentives in there – but I think it’ll be a max deal. If that ends up being below the max, I’d be very, very surprised.”

Before the 2019-20 season was suspended, Tatum was averaging 23.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists for the Celtics. The former Duke star was also shooting 44.8 percent from the field, 39.8 percent from beyond the arc and 80.6 percent from the free-throw line.

The future of the Celtics is Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Tatum and Brown are two of the brightest young stars in the NBA today, while Walker has been one of the best point guards in the league for a while now.

Tatum is set to earn $9.9 million next season on his rookie deal, per Spotrac. The Celtics signed Brown last October to a four-year deal worth $115 million. Look for Boston to pay Tatum more since he has established himself as one of the most talented young scorers in the NBA.