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JJ Redick On Jaylen Brown’s Enormous New Contract

As always, Redick speaks his mind

2023 NBA Playoffs - Miami Heat v Boston Celtics
 BOSTON, MA - MAY 29: Jaylen Brown #7 and Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics look on during round 3 game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat on May 29, 2023 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. 
Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Former Duke star JJ Redick has made a reputation as a media figure as someone who is willing to speak his mind. He’s going to say what he’s got to say and doesn’t much care what anyone thinks. If he wants to rip Bob Cousy and Larry Bird, then he’s going to do it.

So it’s no surprise that he is willing to weigh in on Jaylen Brown’s fat new contract. Brown’s new deal with the Celtics will pay him a total of $304 million over the next five years. That works out to $60.8 million a season, and as Redick points out, that’s a lot for a guy - well, let him say it:

“I wasn’t shocked that Jaylen Brown signed a super-max extension. He qualified for it, he’s all NBA this season, he’s a player who’s done a lot in his career, and he’s entering his prime. But I want to go through this real quick because I saw some comments yesterday. Jaylen Brown is a fantastic player, he’s not a top-five player, right, he’s not a top-10 player, so I think for the casual fan, they’re just like, ‘Oh, that’s insane. Jaylen Brown’s not worth it, Jaylen’s Brown’s not worth more than so-and-so, I can’t believe Jaylen Brown signed for that’. Does Jaylen Brown deserve more to get more money than Jokic or Giannis or Steph, or LeBron, the answer is no.”

That puts him ahead of players like Joel Embiid, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Giannis Anetokoumpo, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic, Seth Curry and LeBron James.

Redick acknowledges that and asked, essentially, if he’s worth it. And he said yes: because Boston is trying to win a championship.

That’s a reasonable argument, but the question to us is closer to home: his contract is nearly twice as fat as teammate and former Duke Blue Devil Jayson Tatum, who also has a five-year deal for $163 million and you can see how that might be a problem, since Tatum is widely seen as the better Celtic.

However, as a two-time first-team All-NBA player over the last two seasons, Tatum can get the supermax extension soon himself. And his will be worth slightly more than Brown’s ($ 308,549 thousand).

That would mean the Celtics would keep their star forwards under contract for years to come. It would also mean two players are getting well over half a billion dollars between them. If the market says they’re worth it, then they’re worth it. That’s how markets work.

But that also means they will need to produce, and in Boston, that means titles. With contracts like that, the pressure is going to be enormous.