‘NBA’s Richest’: Celtics Star Signs First $300 Million Contract in NBA History
Boston Celtics All-Star Jaylen Brown has agreed to the richest contract in NBA history, signing a five-year supermax extension worth a whopping USD$304 million (AUD$447 million). The astronomical figure eclipses two-time MVP and reigning NBA Finals MVP Nikola Jokic‘s USD$276 million (AUD$406 million) extension signed with the Denver Nuggets in July 2022. Brown becomes just the second athlete in U.S. sports history to sign a contract that guarantees at least USD$60 million annually, following Portland’s Damien Lillard, who snagged a two-year deal in 2022.
Jaylen Brown Contract Breakdown
Importantly, Brown’s contract won’t kick in for another full season. The Celtics guard still has one year remaining on his current agreement, which will see him earn USD$31.8 million over the 2023-24 season. While the new supermax extension means he is not eligible for a no-trade clause, Jaylen Brown’s contract does elevate his earnings to near-unfathomable levels. Let’s do the math.
When the final year of his five-year extension officially kicks off in 2028, Brown will be earning USD$69.1 million. That’s USD$131 every minute, or USD$2.19 per second of the calendar year if you want to dive even deeper. Here is the full breakdown of Jaylen Brown’s contract extension.
Jaylen Brown Background
For Boston Celtics fans, the new Jaylen Brown contract announcement doesn’t come out of the blue. The 26-year-old has cemented his place as one of the game’s most electrifying players, gradually building his shot-making and scoring figures year-on-year. In the 2022-23 season, Brown averaged a career-best 26.6 points on 49 per cent shooting from the field, to go along with 6.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
His efforts on the court saw him rewarded with second-team All-NBA honours, an achievement that immediately made him eligible for the five-year supermax extension. Importantly for Celtics fans, Brown was this year able to solidify his partnership with teammate Jayson Tatum, with the two stars combining for 56.7 points per game, the fourth most by a duo in NBA history.
NBA CBA Impacts
While the figure does look enormous on paper, Jaylen Brown’s new contract could mark the beginnings of a race to the top for the NBA’s biggest stars. In April, the NBA and its players agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement that implemented widespread changes to the trade, salary cap and NBA draft functions.
As CBS analyst Sam Quinn explained at the time, the new agreement significantly altered the way teams approached extensions. “Under the old collective bargaining agreement, most veterans could only sign extensions that increased their salary by 20 per cent in the first season of the new deal,” Quinn wrote.
That rule essentially forbade the Celtics from extending Brown at his maximum salary, which virtually guaranteed that he would enter free agency once his current contract ended unless he was able to secure All-NBA honours. Remarkably, and perhaps by divine intervention, he did precisely that, avoiding the situation entirely and allowing the Celtics to offer him a supermax extension.
Under the new agreement, teams are able to bump that salary increase up to 40 per cent, (a change that Quinn suggested should be called ‘The Jaylen Brown Rule’) ensuring that if they do have stars performing on a contract year, they may have the methods to keep them. It’s something the Celtics will be paying very close attention to.
The Boston Celtics Predicament
In addition to the Jaylen Brown contract extension, next year will see the Boston team enter similar negotiations with star forward Jayson Tatum. The younger of the ‘Two Js’ is arguably the more valuable asset and will likely demand an even greater figure for his services. Over the 2022-23 season, Tatum averaged 29.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists, leading the team to a second-straight Eastern Conference Finals birth.
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Tatum is contracted to play with the Celtics for another season, earning him USD$34.8 million, and has a player option for the 2025-26 season worth USD$37 million. With All-NBA honours already under his belt, the 25-year-old is eligible for the supermax when the time comes, which would put the Celtics in an interesting position: go all in on the Two Js, or try to get some bang for their buck.
Jaylen Brown Contract FAQs
Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown’s five-year supermax extension is the richest contract in NBA history. Worth a whopping USD$304 million (AUD$447 million), the deal eclipses two-time MVP and reigning NBA Finals MVP Nikola Jokic’s USD$276 million (AUD$406 million) extension signed with the Denver Nuggets in July 2022.
At present, the Golden State Warriors Steph Curry is the highest-paid player in the NBA. He earns USD$48 million per season, however, when Portland star Damien Lilliard’s contract officially kicks in, he will take over. Lillard is set to use his player option to secure a USD$48.8 million per season figure.