The Boston Celtics were one win away from sealing NBA history and reaching their second straight NBA Finals heading into Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Instead, an embarrassing loss in front of a home crowd now leads to an offseason with one massive question looming.
Celtics star Jaylen Brown, who has one year remaining on his current contract, is eligible for a five-year, $295 million extension this offseason. With Jayson Tatum eligible for an even bigger deal next offseason (five years, $318 million) some in the basketball world are skeptical that the Celtics will or even should offer Brown the supermax deal.
Stephen A. Smith said on ESPN's Get Up that Brown's possible aspirations for being a team's No. 1 option could play a factor. Smith said Brown could never be the top player for the Celtics as long as Tatum is around.
“I don't think you give him that much period because he's not your number one option,” Smith said. “That kind of money is reserved for the number one guy.”
Smith said that the Celtics should use the money elsewhere if Brown demands the supermax.
“Either you get an abundance of players which I don't think is necessary or you get a superstar caliber sniper like Damian Lillard to come to Boston,” Smith said.
The Celtics do not have to give Brown the supermax, but any player who is eligible for that kind of money would certainly think they are entitled to it, especially considering they have to earn the right for eligibility based on their performance.
Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 19 points in Game 7 but had eight turnovers in a season-ending 19-point loss. It could be his last game in a Celtics uniform.