By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Jaylen Brown is heading toward restricted free agency next summer. The Celtics will have the opportunity to match any offer, but tried to get a jump on things by offering Brown a four-year, $80 million deal, according to Chris Hayes of Yahoo Sports.
Brown, however, said no thank you. The cerebral wing envisions big things in his fourth season in the NBA, and believes he can get an even bigger deal next summer.
“Brown believes in his ability to one day be a star and is pursuing a bigger offer, sources said,” Hayes wrote Wednesday.
Turning down an annual paycheck of $20 million may seem risky, but Brown figures to be one of the top players available in a somewhat weak free agent class in 2020. There won’t be the plethora of franchise-altering stars available like last summer, giving Brown an opportunity to cash in big time. Brown had been representing himself since being drafted No. 3 overall by Boston in 2016, but recently hired agent Jason Glushon to help in his negotiations with Celtics president of basketball ops. Danny Ainge.
And that offer the Celtics sent his way is a tad on the lower side too (by NBA standards, that is), considering the Kings offered Buddy Hield four years and $90 million, according to Yahoo Sports. Hield is reportedly looking for a deal closer to $110 million, so you can see why Brown is also looking for a better offer. The Celtics offered him what they currently think he’s worth, not what they think he could get next summer.
Now Brown will have to go out and prove that he’s worth that bigger payday in the upcoming season, and he’s confident that he can do just that. Brown has been up and down through his first three years in the NBA, and struggled at the start of last season. He found himself coming off the bench, a role he eventually embraced and thrived in. Brown finished the season strong, giving Boston a solid two-way player in their otherwise disappointing playoff run. He should have a bigger role in the Boston offense this season with Kemba Walker now in place of Kyrie Irving.
If he goes out and has a great season, some team may offer Brown the max deal he’s seeking when he hits restricted free agency. Brown is betting on himself this season, and will have all the motivation in the world to prove he’s one of the top wings in the NBA. That should pay big dividends for the Celtics next season, even if it may end up costing them more in the summer.