Jayson Tatum is “Leaning Towards” Signing a Max Contract Extension This Offseason

Jayson Tatum has some big decisions to make this upcoming offseason. Tatum is expected to be offered a max contract extension from the Boston Celtics that was projected to be worth anywhere between $181.25 million and $217.5 million before the pandemic.

The pandemic certainly changed a lot in the NBA. Because of the suspended season and the NBA’s inability to resume all of its games and fully get back on track, the league will be dealing with financial issues that will take away money from the players and change what they were expected to make.

According to NBC Sports Boston’s A. Sherrod Blakely, Jayson Tatum is “leaning towards” signing his max contract extension even though he might not get paid as much as he initially would have before the pandemic.

“Tatum’s got to make some decisions,” Blakely said. “Do I sign for your four- or five-year extension? Or do I play it out and just become a restricted free agent and hope that the cap goes up afterwards so then I can sign a max still for more money? From what I’m being told, Jayson at this point is leaning towards signing [a] max deal when he’s eligible and going from there.”

On the Celtics Talk podcast, Blakely pointed out that Tatum’s contract extension was based on the projected rise in the salary cap, which was expected to be around $125 million. Blakely says that there’s “no way in hell that’s happening” because of the pandemic.

Although Tatum has voiced his concerns about playing Orlando due to injury risk, he still plans on playing even if there’s no insurance policy set for the players. He’ll be ready to go to Orlando with the rest of his Boston teammates.

Tatum deserves to be paid big money during the offseason, and it’s tough that he won’t get paid as much as he was projected to. Before the NBA season was suspended back in March, Tatum was averaging 23.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.4 steals while shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 39.8 percent on threes. He is one of the biggest reasons why Boston has the fifth-best record in the NBA with a 43-21 record.

This is a tricky situation for Tatum. He can hold out and wait to see if the salary cap bounces back after next season, or he can sign his max extension this offseason and get ready to get paid big time when his extension is over. It’s a big decision for a 22-year-old to make. Regardless of what happens, the plan is that he will be staying in Boston for the foreseeable future.

Photo: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

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