Celtics star Jayson Tatum claims he hasn’t thought about his first big payday yet.
Moments after being eliminated by the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, Tatum was asked if he’s thought about his potential contract extension yet.
“That’s a tough question to answer,” Tatum said. I haven’t even thought about that yet. I was just focused on this season. As you guys know, it’s a process. The front office and my agent are going to talk about (it). I’m not thinking about that right now.”
Tatum, who became an All-Star in his third year in the league this season, can sign a max contract extension for up to five years that’s projected to be worth $158 million this offseason, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.
It was reported by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst in June that the Celtics “most likely” will offer Tatum a max extension. Later that month, NBC Sports Boston’s A. Sherrod Blakely reported that Tatum’s “leaning towards” signing a max extension when he’s eligible.
The Celtics will only have a certain time frame of when they can sign Tatum to a rookie contract extension. In previous years, the window that teams could sign players to a second contract extension was when the league’s calendar for a new season starts in July through shortly before the first regular-season game in October.
Before the season began, the Celtics signed Jaylen Brown to a four-year, $115 million deal on Oct. 21, the league’s deadline day for rookie contract extensions.
With the uncertainty on when next season will begin, it is unknown how long the window is for the Celtics and Tatum to agree to a deal.
While the situation is complex and there are several millions of dollars on the line, Tatum emphasized that he was just focusing on the season-ending loss.
We just lost this series,” Tatum said. “I’m just thinking about the guys in that locker room and the game. That’s what I’m thinking about. Stuff like that when it happens, if it happens, is not really my concern, not really thinking about that.
“Just really thinking about the great season, great players, great guys I was around. It was a hell of a year and I enjoyed it. This was fun. I’m not ready to think about the other stuff right now.”
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