Why an NBA GM reportedly believes the Celtics should give Jaylen Brown the supermax extension

The Celtics can offer Brown a five-year, $290 million extension this offseason a year before he's set to become a free agent.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff
Jaylen Brown is eligible to sign a supermax extension this offseason.

The Celtics face a big and expensive decision this offseason with Jaylen Brown. But one NBA general manager believes Boston’s choice should be obvious.

An unknown NBA general manager told Heavy.com’s Steve Bulpett that he expects the Celtics to give Brown the full supermax, which would be a five-year, $290 million deal. He explained it would be a good idea for the Celtics because “you don’t let talent walk or get devalued.”

“I hear fans up there are debating whether to give Brown the supermax, but at some point the numbers don’t really matter,” the anonymous general manager told Bulpett. “First of all, the guy is one of the better players in the league. Start there. I know people are all upset about his last game, and sure he was bad, but that was a team-wide collapse. Just take a step back and look at where he is and what he can do. The guy can play.


“But the main reason why everyone out here knows they have to get something done with him is that you can never afford to lose an asset like that. … Even if you sign him and things don’t work out with your team down the line, you have a player of value. All-Star players can attract free agents who want to play with them, or you can use your player as an asset in a trade.”

The general manager certainly isn’t alone in feeling that the Celtics should keep Brown. Within the Celtics’ organization, president of basketball operations Brad Stevens and Brown’s star teammate, Jayson Tatum, both expressed a desire for the All-Star wing to remain in Boston.

“I can say without a doubt we want Jaylen to be here,” Stevens told reporters Thursday. “And he’s a big part of us. And we believe in him and I’m thankful for him.”

“It’s extremely important,” Tatum said when asked about Brown staying in Boston following Monday’s Game 7 loss to Miami. “He’s one of the best players in the league.”

While Stevens and Tatum shared their hopes that Brown would remain in Boston, several have questioned if he’s worth a contract that would be the biggest in NBA history.


Following a strong regular season, in which he scored a career-high 26.6 points per game to earn a second-team All-NBA nod, Brown struggled in the postseason. Brown’s scoring dropped to 22.7 points per game over the playoffs, and while he was more efficient shooting the ball (49.6 field goal percentage in the postseason compared to 49.1 field goal percentage in the regular season), he committed nearly as many turnovers (66) as he did assists (68).

In particular, Brown struggled against the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. He scored 19 points per game while shooting 41.8 percent from the field and 16.3 percent from deep. When Tatum suffered an ankle injury on the opening play of Game 7, Brown struggled to make up the difference. He scored 19 points on 8-of-23 shooting and committed a career-high eight turnovers.

And what if the Celtics extend Brown and he has another inconsistent playoff run?

“From everything I’ve heard and I know, Boston wants Brown,” the general manager told Bulpett. “They see him as a big part of their future. But if things get messed up there — major injuries or things like that — you have to have the ability to make trades.”


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