As it seems, Jaylen Brown might only be the third offensive option at best on a Boston Celtics team that features Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum. However, one NBA executive reportedly believes that the 22-year-old wingman just might play well enough in the 2019-20 season to merit a maximum contract offer, provided he chooses not to sign the contract extension he is eligible for.
Citing a recent report from Frank Urbina of HoopsHype, Bleacher Report wrote that one Eastern Conference general manager has high hopes for Brown’s prospects in free agency next summer. The former No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft could become a restricted free agent in the 2020 offseason, though that will change if he and the Celtics agree on a rookie-scale extension before the October 21 deadline for signing such deals.
“The Celtics may be thinking that they don’t want to give a max deal to their third-best player, but Jaylen Brown may be thinking that he can be the top free agent next summer if he has a big year. Brown could play his way into a max contract,” the executive reportedly told Urbina.
The unnamed general manager added that Brown has a better chance than ever of enjoying an expanded role for the Celtics, as Boston lost several key players, including Kyrie Irving, Marcus Morris, and Al Horford, in free agency during the 2019 offseason. It was also noted that Boston would be able to match any max offers Brown might receive, given the youngster’s possible status as a restricted free agent next summer.
Regarding the odds of Brown and the Celtics coming to terms on an extension, a similarly anonymous source spoke to Heavy’s Sean Deveney last month and suggested that the chances are “pretty slim,” as previously noted by The Inquisitr. The source pointed out that Brown has traditionally deferred to veterans such as Irving (now with the Brooklyn Nets) and Gordon Hayward, thus limiting his opportunities to live up to his potential as a high draft pick.
Even with Brown’s erstwhile status as a supporting player in Boston in mind, Bleacher Report opined that the former University of California star might indeed “make a case for becoming a max player” in the 2019-20 season. The publication explained that his skill set as a “two-way” wing who can contribute on offense and defense makes him especially valuable in the modern NBA landscape, adding that he particularly showed some flashes of brilliance in the 2018 playoffs, where the Celtics played without an injured Irving and Hayward.
With proven veterans like Anthony Davis and DeMar DeRozan expected to re-sign with their respective teams next summer and young star Pascal Siakam likely to do the same for the defending champion Toronto Raptors, Bleacher Report concluded by predicting that Brown’s potential could make him the “crown jewel” of next year’s comparatively weak free-agent class.