Sean Deveney recently reported that the Celtics likely will not extend Jaylen Brown before the Oct. 21 deadline. That spurred questions about how Jaylen Brown would handle representation through his eventual free agency. With the deadline now looming and no news of extension talks, Brown is acquiring the heavy hand behind a former friend.
Jackie MacMullan reported that Brown is now represented by Jason Glushon. Glushon represents Al Horford and helped earn the former Celtics center a four-year, $97-million contract that could pay him up to $109-million with the 76ers.
While many assumed that Horford would return to Boston, without significant money elsewhere, Glushon remained confident in a larger deal. Adrian Wojnarowski articulated at the time that he expected to find a contract worth over $100-million and ultimately did. Without confidence in Boston’s direction, according to today’s Herald report, they jumped.
Brown could command that kind of money this summer as the upcoming free agency class thins. Brian Windhorst, speaking on the Hoop Collective Podcast with MacMullan, said teams may take the offensive on the perceived value of this class. While the market could work in Brown’s favor, Windhorst believes organizations will use considerable restraint compared to recent offseasons.
“I’ve talked to some executives that told me that if most of these guys extend, there may not be a max contract given out other than to Anthony Davis next summer,” Windhorst said.
Windhorst expects the Cavaliers, Grizzlies, Hawks and Hornets to generate the most cap space in next year’s class. Those teams could be in play for young talent with upside. The problem, MacMullan added, is that Brown needs to prove his worth as a max free agent at a crowded wing position.
The Gordon Hayward situation could make-or-break the Celtics’ plan — whatever it is. Hayward’s emergence could diminish Brown’s ceiling and draw Boston a discount like they got with Marcus Smart. More likely, other teams see more growth and give him a larger contract toward continued improvement.
Other teams could also, as the Collective noted, simply fire a massive deal at Brown to force the Celtics into a tough decision. A conference rival like Cleveland could force the C’s to make larger luxury tax payments if Danny Ainge lets Brown reach free agency in the midst of a successful year. Other teams would infer the Celtics would then match anything.
There’s no good comparison in Ainge’s tenure to Brown. Brown’s upside remains stardom, though he hasn’t shown the team enough to commit to him early. Other teams need to actually want him if they’re submitting a large offer sheet.
Brown moved toward signing an agent into October. He told NBC Sports Boston that he evaluated roughly five options. While praising Ainge’s abilities at serving Boston’s interest, he weighed the pros and cons of each choice.
Glushon prevailed, the representative for Jrue Holiday, Cameron Payne, London Perrantes, Devin Robinson, Miye Oni and Dedric Lawson. His clients will earn $62.1-million this season, with Horford accounting for $28-million.
Brown said he’s not losing sleep over the process at media day. It does indicate heightened awareness for the road ahead though. Brown joining veterans like Andre Drummond and Demar DeRozan in the upcoming free agency class places him in a rare position. Teams shell out the largest dollars for young players that project to grow. He could be the only one.
Only Paschal Siakam compares among players with upside, and the reigning most-improved player will likely be retained at all costs by Toronto. Boston’s silence on Brown introduces an eerier uncertainty above him and a league weighing an offer sheet.
Brown entered the 2016 draft without an agent. The NBA Players Association assisted in agreeing to the terms of his rookie deal. Aaron Goodwin, Damian Lillard and DeRozan’s agent among others, advised him on searching for a shoe deal. Adidas signed Brown before the NBA Draft. Brown also consulted Isiah Thomas.
It’s unclear if his new commitment can bring both sides to the table. They both likely see opportunity this summer that’s worth more than talking now.
“I wanted to figure out what I could handle and couldn’t handle,” Brown told the Boston Globe at the time. “Then I could put somebody in the spot where I needed the most.”