LAS VEGAS — Forward Jaylen Brown was eligible to agree to a five-year, $295 million super-max contract extension with the Celtics at 12:01 a.m. July 1. But two weeks have passed without a deal, with seemingly everyone other than the involved parties wondering why negotiations seem to be moving slowly. Now, it appears the process will be delayed at least a bit more.
According to a league source, although talks between Brown and the Celtics have been progressing, Brown, a National Basketball Players Association vice president, is headed overseas for an organizational event, and he plans to meet with the Celtics again when he returns.
It’s unclear how long Brown will be gone, but there is expected to be a temporary pause in the negotiations during his absence. The source stressed that Brown’s departure is not related to any setback with the Celtics; he is simply honoring a scheduled commitment.
Both sides have said there is no rush to complete Brown’s extension, especially considering the October deadline remains months away. Speaking with a small group of reporters following his team’s Summer League win over the Lakers late Wednesday night, Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens expressed optimism.
“It’s been all good discussion,” Stevens said. “We want Jaylen to be here for a long, long time and we’ve made that clear. We’re looking forward to all sitting down, and we’ve got time here. I probably shouldn’t say anything else, but I feel optimistic.”
By all indications, the Celtics are offering Brown a full max contract. The holdup is likely related to incentive structure, or clauses such as a fifth-year player option like the one fellow Celtics All-Star Jayson Tatum received when he agreed to his extension in 2020.
There were signs that Brown’s extension could be finalized in Las Vegas this week. Boston’s executives are here for the Summer League, and Brown was here for several days, spending part of the time operating a gift suite for rookies at the Palms Casino Resort. Brown’s brother, Quenton, even sat courtside with Celtics decision-makers during the team’s loss to the Wizards on Sunday.
But the wait will continue. Even though there are no signs of tension between Brown and the Celtics, there are also no signs of an imminent deal.