Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics has tens of millions of dollars on the line this spring.
If Brown is named to an NBA All-Star team, he will be eligible to sign a four-year supermax contract with the Celtics this summer. This contract would start at 35% of the salary ceiling for 2024-25 and provide annual raises of 8%. Nevertheless, if he does not make an All-NBA team, the Celtics’ options for a contract may be far more limited.
Teams can give players no more than 120% of their prior salary or 120% of the expected average income (whichever is larger) as the starting salary of a new extension under the NBA’s current collective bargaining agreement. With Brown scheduled to earn $30.7 million in his final season, the Celtics can give him no more than $36.9 million as the beginning salary of an extension if he does not make an All-NBA team. The four-year total is almost $165.2 million, which is likely to be tens of millions less than he might earn as a free agency in 2024.
The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association, on the other hand, are now discussing a new collective bargaining deal that could go into effect as soon as this summer. One of the suggested modifications might make an extension for Brown and the Celtics significantly more likely, even if he does not make an All-NBA team this year.
The NBA and NBPA have explored allowing teams to give 140 or 150% of a player’s prior contract as the starting pay of a new extension rather than 120%, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. If that adjustment becomes effective this summer, the Celtics should be able to offer Brown a full or near-maximum extension, depending on where the salary ceiling falls in 2024-25.
Brown, who will have eight years of NBA experience when he becomes a free agent in 2024, may receive a contract worth up to 30% of the 2024-25 salary limit. While the league hasn’t announced an official prediction for that year’s salary cap, we may use RealGM’s projection of $140.7 million to give a ballpark estimate.
If Brown stays with the Celtics or leaves, his maximum contract would start at $42.2 million (30% of the $140.7 million ceiling). He could sign a five-year, $244.8 million max contract with the Celtics (8% yearly raises) or a four-year, $181.5 million deal with any other team (5% annual raises). In any case, that’s a lot more money than he can get from the Celtics under the existing extension rules if he doesn’t make the All-NBA team this season.
Yet, the suggested extension improvements would more than bridge that disparity. Whether the Celtics offer him 140% of his 2023-24 pay ($43.0 million) or 150% ($46.1 million), both would exceed his cap salary of $140.7 million. Thus, if the new CBA goes into effect this summer, with those new contract terms, the Celtics may offer Brown a four-year, $189.1 million agreement.