Was he part of the problem? Or is he part of the solution? That is the golden question surrounding Jaylen Brown as his rookie contract comes to a close.
The Celtics have yet to reach out to the youngster regarding an extension, and if neither side can come to an agreement before the start of next season, he’ll enter free agency in 2020.
“The ball is in their court,” Brown proclaims.
Danny Ainge seems committed to the young core at this point after his plan to acquire Anthony Davis fell through. When Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward both went down with serious injuries just two years ago, Jason Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart all proved that they can play on the biggest of stages, taking Lebron’s Cleveland Cavaliers to game seven in the Eastern Conference Finals.
With the run still fresh in everyone’s mind, it’s bound to have some influence on how the roster is shaped. The 76ers and Bucks hadn’t quite emerged as contenders yet, but, nearly dethroning the King shouldn’t easily disregarded.
Re-signing Brown would display a strong set of confidence in the 22-year-old who has grown immensely since joining the team.
As third overall pick in the 2016 draft, he averaged 17 minutes, 6.6 points, 34% behind the arc, 2.8 rebounds, and .8 assists. In a quick turn of events, the former Golden Bear doubled those stats in his sophomore season, even boasting a 39.5 three pointer shooting percentage.
If the Celtic’s GM decides to offer a deal, it will be the first rookie extension he’s awarded since Rajon Rondo back in 2009. The difference is, that was one year removed from a championship team and Rondo was putting up some pretty astonishing numbers (nearly averaged a triple-double in the playoffs).
If the proposal doesn’t meet Brown’s asking price, the next step is likely trying out the market for buyers. A couple new assets wouldn’t hurt for the future.
Boston will need to make that judgment call sooner or later.