A week of burning questions: Will Jalen Brown leave the Celtics in 2024?

Will Jaylen Brown leave a file Boston Celtics?

This is the question that will be on the minds of the masses over the next two years. When trade rumors about Kevin Durant dominated the headlines, some fans were in favor of the deal because Brown might abandon the Celtics in the summer of 2024. Others preferred the idea of ​​keeping Brown and persuading him to stay in the city that drafted him.

Brown has two years left on his current contract, and technically he could sign an extension at the moment. However, this will not happen. Not because he didn’t want to be in Boston, but because he would have given away a lot of money if he did. Explains Keith Smith of CelticsBlog:

“It is not at all useful for Jaylen Brown to extend now. This has nothing to do with the Celtics. The Celtics would love to extend it today. Since he is not in one of those so-called player-specific extensions, Brown is not in a position to extend as much as we generally see him doing.” Lots of other players.

So in that spot, Brown is set to make $30.7 million in his final year, in the 2023-24 season. What he can do from that number is he can extend by 120%, or a 20% increase from that, for three years. For now, he can do that. That would make his figure, let’s call it $36.9 million in 2024-25, $39.8 million in 2025-26, and then $42.7 million in 2026-27. Total, three-year extension, $119.5 million. If Brown waits to become a free agent, his first year salary he will be eligible for is $42.9 million. So $42.9 million is, you know, roughly $6 million above what he could make in a sprawl, and then you add up the increases from there, and we start from there. So that’s why he won’t be doing the veteran’s record extension this summer.”

The summer of 2024 will be the first time the current Boston heartland has been in jeopardy, and for the most part, the Celtics have no control over. Brown will be an unrestricted free agent. The Celtics can give him more money than anyone else, but if he wanted to join a different team, he would have complete freedom to do so.

By the time the 2024 free agency rolls around, Brown will have turned 27, in the prime of his career, and will be one of the most interesting players on the market. But he won’t be the only player available. Guys like Khris Middleton, Pascal Siakam, and Fred Vanfleet will also hit unrestricted free agency. However, Brown will be younger than them all by more than two years.

But what would make Brown want to leave Boston? Well, there are a bunch of reasons.

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First registration option

And as things stand, Brown will never be the man in Boston. Except for a crazy jump from it and a lot of downhill from Jayson Tatum, that’s not in the cards with the Celtics. It’s very clear that Tatum is the team’s top goal-scoring option, and while Brown is not far behind, there will always be that inner sense of being Scotty Pippen for Michael Jordan of Tatum.

Now, when one of them talks about this, it never happens. From everything we’ve seen of Tatum and Brown, they are committed to building something special in Boston together. But who knows what the future holds? By the time he hits free agency, Brown may be eager to lead his team as the number one finisher.

There will be a difference in 2024 free agency that can offer him this. teams like Toronto RaptorsAnd the Indiana PacersAnd the Charlotte Hornets They would all have enough money to sign Brown and they should be able to give him the chance to be a better dog. Charlotte and Indiana obviously have top-notch guards at the LaMelo Ball and Tyrese Haliburton, but it’s not hard to imagine these guys taking a back seat at the scoring column and instead, making it easier for Brown.

But while these three teams are great examples, Boston’s biggest threat could actually be a new playoff opponent. The Raptors, Hornets, and Pacers could offer Brown the opportunity to be his first recording option, but Miami Heat This could give him a title and a chance to win a championship. By the time Brown hits free agency, Kyle Lowry’s contract will be off the books, and if they clear a little more space by then by dumping Duncan Robinson, they could make way for Brown in South Beach.

Jimmy Butler never wanted to be his number one scoring option, and Pam Adebayo has proven that he’s not that kind of guy. Adding Brown to the mix could push Miami further into the title, and Brown would become the star of the show.

If Brown wants to go somewhere where he can be his first recording option, there must be options for him in free agency.

Dallas Mavericks vs Boston Celtics

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Scene change

Brown probably doesn’t care about being the first choice. If so, he will probably struggle to find the best fit from the Celtics. They’ve created a championship-caliber roster around him and Tatum, and they’re set to contend for titles for the next decade. But what if he just wants to change the scene? Well, there will be plenty of high-quality teams out there who should be willing to give him that too.

The Dallas Mavericks He should be on a constant search for a co-star to pair alongside Luka Doncic, and if they pull off a decade or two by 2024, they could make room for Brown. Not only will Brown be able to take the burden of scoring off Doncic, but he will also likely play the role of the best defender on the team.

Similar phrases can be presented to teams like Memphis GrizzliesAnd the Detroit PistonsAnd the Philadelphia 76erswho could all be looking for new faces to pair up with their superstars by 2024. Ja Morant, Cade Cunningham and Joel Embiid should seize the opportunity to play with Brown.

Again, though, this reasoning is based on the idea that Brown is sick of Boston, and from everything we’ve seen, that doesn’t seem to be the case at the moment.

Atlanta Hawks vs Boston Celtics

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Homecoming

When reporters ask Tatum which team he’d like to play with over Boston, he always notes that if St. Louis had a team, he’d want to play there. Well, what if Brown felt the same way? Can you join the Atlanta Hawks?

The short answer? definitely.

Brown’s love for the city of Atlanta is well documented. The most relevant example came in 2020, when he drove 15 hours from Boston to Atlanta to lead a peaceful protest in his hometown. His new Celtics teammate, Malcolm Brogdon, joined him in the protest, as he, too, is from the region.

Choosing players to sign for their hometown team is not a new concept. LeBron James is back Cleveland Cavaliers In 2014, Kawhi Leonard chose to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2019.

And in terms of product in the ballpark, the Hawks do a solid job of putting together a quality list. Trae Young is an All-NBA level guard, they just traded with Dejounte Murray (who will need to re-sign by then), and their supporting team is still young as well. In addition, they will have the ability to open up a cover space for Brown if they trade one of John Collins or Clint Capella.

Boston Celtics - New York Knicks

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Where does that leave the Celtics?

Suppose Brown decides to leave Boston. Where does that leave the Celtics?

Well, while nothing is guaranteed, the Celtics won’t actually be in a terrible situation. At that point, Tatum still had two years left on his current deal (with the latter being a player option), Marcus Smart and Robert Williams would have two years completely guaranteed, and Brogdon and Derek White each had one year left. The rest of the Boston core will remain in place.

Taking into account the potential extension of Grant Williams and the final year of Sam Hauser’s contract, the Celtics will leave seven players (if Al Horford retires by then). And if no moves are made, Spotrac Projects They have just under $27 million in max space. That’s not enough to sign a Max player, but they’d be trading Brogdon or White away from getting into that conversation. Signing and trading with Brown could also give them a standout player in return.

It obviously seems a bit far from the future, but that summer, guys like Siakam, VanVleet, Middleton and Domantas Sabonis will all hit the open market. None of them are quite at Brown’s level, especially not in the youth category, but it’s not as if the Celtics won’t be able to replace their production.

Keeping Brown is the top priority, and it should be, but if all else fails, there will still be some decent options for Boston to consider at a free agency that year.

Is Brown leaving?

It is impossible to know whether or not Brown will leave in 2024. A lot could change in a couple of years. If Boston wins a championship, how will that affect things? Would Brown like to keep things moving and build not only a winner, but a dynasty with the Celtics? Or will he feel as if he accomplished everything he started in Boston?

What if they don’t win everything? Does he want to keep running again with Tatum, trying to win a ring with the Celtics? Or does he prefer to test the situation with a new baton? There are a lot of questions that no one knows the answer to except for Brown, and they probably know by now.

Everything he and Tatum have said indicates that they are committed to winning in Boston. They want to help the Celtics win Banner 18 together. Consider this quote from Tatum that came out in August.

“We’re just trying to survive in the moment. It’s not necessarily about what our legacy would look like if we did this, this, and the third,” Tatum told NBC Sports Boston. “We just try to be the best version of ourselves, the best players we can possibly be.” To be, and to compete at the highest level. I think we really took these next steps last season. And we’ll be the first to tell you that we have more to do. More to do. And we’re eager to do it… Despite all the people who said we couldn’t play together, we always thought we could.”

Two years is a long time, but for now, Brown seems to be doing everything he can in Boston.