What Jaylen Brown’s supermax means for his Boston Celtics teammates

The Boston Celtics front office have frequently expressed they are not afraid to spend money on their star players -- but what about the supporting cast? (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
The Boston Celtics front office have frequently expressed they are not afraid to spend money on their star players -- but what about the supporting cast? (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

The Boston Celtics front office has frequently expressed they are not afraid to spend money on their star players. On Tuesday morning, Brad Stevens made that crystal clear by signing Jaylen Brown to a five-year $304 million ‘supermax’ contract extension.

Despite the good news, this move may provide difficulties when it comes to paying his Celtics teammates in the years to come.

In an interview following the Kristaps Porzingis-Marcus Smart deal, Stevens said, “We’re fortunate that we were deep into the tax last year. We’ll be into it this year and have the green light to continue to do it. We just want to build a team that makes sense being together.”

Considering Brown has made five Eastern Conference Finals appearances (four with Jayson Tatum) it is safe to say Stevens is confident he is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to shaping the Celtics’ roster. Now the question is, who are the other pieces and where do they fit?

Jayson Tatum

Brown signing this extension does not change much financially or mentally for Tatum. When it comes to Tatum, it is almost a one-hundred percent certainty the Boston Celtics will offer him his version of the Supermax when he becomes eligible next summer.

Instead of speculating about his future, Jayson Tatum should prepare to play in his seventh consecutive season alongside his fellow All-Star.

Oh, and I guess he can be happy for his teammate as well.

Kristaps Porzingis

Porzingis will be the third highest-paid player on the Boston Celtics roster after next year and assuming Jayson Tatum signs a supermax extension, Porzingis will be owed a large portion of the remaining salary according to the salary cap.

Porzingis is a fantastic player and this year will be a huge indicator of how well he can fit in on this Celtics roster. If he can stay healthy and give the same production he did last year, the Celtics should be in prime position to win it all and the money will be worth it.

However, if Porzingis experiences a drop-off in production or can’t seem to stay healthy enough to get on the floor, the Celtics will be left with a decision.

If Porzingis can’t put the Celtics over the last hurdle to bring home Banner 18, there is no guarantee they stick with him for the duration of his contract. He needs to prove he deserves a spot in the Celtics’ run for a championship. Otherwise, Porzingis could see himself being traded for smaller contracts that will help to fill out the rest of the puzzle.

Regardless of Porzingis’s contract, it is safe to say the next few years have huge implications for his future with the Boston Celtics.

Derrick White

Derrick White is under contract through the 2024-25 season and will become an unrestricted free agent ahead of the 2025-26 season. For how well he has played for the Boston Celtics, White is on a good-value contract and it is hard to see the Cs moving on from him early by means of a trade.

For the next two seasons, White will play a pivotal role in any success the Celtics enjoy and it is definitely worth considering resigning him again once his contract expires.

Unfortunately for White, if this were to happen, it would most likely come at the expense of contract money. If White continues to improve, it will be very hard for Boston to pay him his market value when he becomes a free agent.

White will be 31 years old going into the 2025-26 season which is not terribly old for a point guard and based on his recent play, opposing teams would definitely be willing to pay for his services.

Malcolm Brogdon

Similar to Derrick White, Malcolm Brogdon will be an unrestricted free agent in 2025-26. Brogdon is a few years older than White and will be turning 33 years old in December 2025. When it comes to his contract, Brogdon is being paid more than White and is not as versatile of a defender.

Despite Brogdon having a very successful year last year, Brown’s extension most likely means he has to have a similar or better year than last year if he wishes to remain a Celtic. Brogdon was a huge bonus off the bench and enjoyed one of the best shooting seasons of his career from beyond the arc, shooting nearly 45% from beyond the arc.

However, Brogdon struggles defensively and has had an injury history that will only get worse with time. For the time being, he is still an important piece of the roster but do not be surprised if the Boston Celtics try to move on from his salary via trade before he becomes a free agent in 2025.

Robert Williams III

As one of the biggest factors in the Celtics’ success, Boston needs Robert Williams III to continue being the defensive anchor he has been in years past. Williams being switched into the starting lineup against Philly in the 2023 postseason was the change that ultimately won the Celtics the series.

If Williams can return to full health and stay that way, he will remain a vital part of this Boston Celtics roster.

Williams is signed through the 2025 season and is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2026. He is still on his rookie extension so the Celtics have him on what should be considered a team-friendly contract in terms of his production. Brown’s contract should not mean anything for Williams in the near future as the Cs will not be looking to trade their youngest big man.

Al Horford

Al Horford is nearing the end of his time in the NBA and every season he plays from this point forward could reasonably be his last. He is under contract with the Boston Celtics through the 2024-25 season. It is hard to imagine the Celtics moving off Horford earlier than that as he has proved he still has value on the court.

In game 3 against the 76ers this year, Horford went 5/7 from beyond the arc and played exceptional defense to complement his strong offensive performance. In Game 7, Horford once again proved his worth by effectively slowing down this year’s MVP.

Sam Hauser and Payton Pritchard

Both Sam Hauser and Payton Pritchard have been important role players in the past few seasons. Although Pritchard did not see as many minutes last year due to the guard depth, he has shown he is a very capable option when given the chance. When he started the last game of the season, he put up a 30-point triple-double.

On the other hand, Hauser played in 80 games last season and averaged 16 minutes per game.  In 8 games as a starter, he averaged over 15 points and nearly 5 rebounds.

Hauser is on contract through next season with a team option in 2024-25, he then becomes an unrestricted free agent going into the 2025-26 season. Pritchard becomes a restricted free agent next summer.

For Pritchard, this year has massive implications for his next contract. If he displays flashes of what we saw during the last game of the season, it is hard to imagine him in a Boston Celtics uniform past next season.

Chances are, another team will offer him more money than the Celtics can afford to match given what their salary cap situation looks like over the next few years.

For Hauser, everyone knows he is a good shooter but he also held his own more times than not on the defensive end of the floor. Unless he gets hurt or regresses from last season, it is hard to see the Boston Celtics not picking up his option next summer, especially given how cheap his contract is.

Jordan Walsh

The last individual player to analyze will be Jordan Walsh. Walsh signed a four-year deal to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2027. Brown’s contract is crucial for Jordan Walsh and the Celtics.

Walsh had an outstanding summer league and showed why he is here to compete at the highest level. At just 19 years old, if Walsh can continue to develop his raw talent, it would be a huge deal for both him and the Boston Celtics roster. If Walsh can fill in as a meaningful role player, his contract is super cheap and it means the Celtics will not have to spend additional money on role players in the future.

Not to say Walsh needs to be ready right away, but if Walsh can establish himself in the rotation a year or two from now, he has the potential to help the Cs not only on the court but also financially off of it.

End of bench/fringe Boston Celtics players

For guys like Delano Banton, Oshae Brissett, and Justin Champagnie, Jaylen Brown’s contract should not affect them too much. They all need to prove they belong on the Boston Celtics roster and I do not anticipate them getting meaningful minutes regardless.

If they can contribute here and there, that would be great but losing these guys in free agency or by trade would not be the end of the world.