Jaylen Brown is currently eligible for a contract extension with the Boston Celtics. Jaylen, the 3rd overall pick in the 2016 draft, is a player that has been highly coveted by Danny Ainge. Whenever his name was brought up in trade discussions, Danny would just hang up the phone. Jaylen has the potential to be one of the brightest up-and-coming stars in the NBA. With all that being said, why hasn’t Danny Ainge offered him a contract extension yet?
First of all, Danny Ainge is known to not give contract extensions to players after rookie-year deals. The last player to receive an extension before his rookie contract ended was Rajon Rondo. CelticsBlog’s Wjsy had this to say about Danny Ainge and his history of not extending players:
“Historically, Danny Ainge almost never extends players coming off their first contract. Rajon Rondo was the last player to get one. In the 11th hour before the deadline, both sides struck a 5-year, $55 million deal. The circumstances were different though. The Celtics were just a year removed from their banner season, Boston was arguably better in 2009, and Rondo had nearly averaged a triple-double in the playoffs with Kevin Garnett out. Rondo was peaking and Ainge wasn’t about to break up a championship team.”
Jaylen Brown didn’t exactly have the best season of his career last year. He struggled to fit in the starting lineup with Kyrie Irving and a returning Gordon Hayward. He got demoted to the bench, where he struggled a bit, but eventually embraced his new role and become more comfortable with it.
Statistically, his last season wasn’t awful. He saw a dip in his points and 3P%, but he was also playing five minutes less than he did the season before. There’s no doubting what Jaylen Brown can bring to the table. He’s been to the playoffs every year since he was drafted, and has been one of the best players on the team during the Celtics’ last two playoff runs. He averaged 18 points a game while shooting 47% from the field (39% from three) during the team’s 2018 playoff run when he and Jayson led the charge.
There’s no doubt in my mind that he can produce similar numbers again next season. It’s no secret that he and Kyrie didn’t get along, so now that Kyrie isn’t around, Jaylen can go back to playing like he did in the playoffs two seasons ago.
The reason Danny hasn’t given Jaylen an extension yet is that he wants Brown to prove he’s worth the money. Jaylen has to bounce back from last year and show that he can become a potential All-Star in this league. Jaylen and Jayson were once dubbed as one of the best young duos in the league, and now they’re not even in that conversation. This is a big prove-it year for Jaylen, and if it works out well, he’ll be collecting a huge paycheck soon.
I have all the confidence in the world that Jaylen Brown will have a fantastic fourth-year in the NBA. He’s shown in the past what he can do, but now it’s time to do it consistently. Whether an extension is agreed upon before the season begins or not, I’d expect him to be in a Celtics’ uniform this year and for many years to come.
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