ORLANDO, Fla. — Forward Jaylen Brown told the Globe Thursday that he has hired agent Jason Glushon to take the lead on contract-extension negotiations with the Celtics.
“It’s just what’s best for me,” Brown said. “I don’t really want to talk about it. I think [talking] is a distraction. But I made my decision and I move on.”
Glushon also represents former Celtics big man Al Horford, who agreed to a four-year, $109 million deal with the 76ers last summer.
Brown, a fourth-year forward, did not sign with an agent after entering the 2016 NBA draft and has instead mostly worked with “specialists” on things such as marketing and endorsements.
His pay was locked in on the rookie salary scale for his first four years, but now that he is eligible for an extension, there is more room for actual negotiations. If Brown agrees to an extension, the new deal would go into effect this year, with his 2019-20 salary replacing this year’s $6.5 million team option that is already in place.
The Celtics have not agreed to a rookie-scale extension since they re-signed point guard Rajon Rondo to one, although they have made offers to players such as Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, and Terry Rozier, among others.
If the Celtics and Brown do not agree on an extension prior to the season, Brown would be in line to become a restricted free agent next summer, meaning Boston would have the right to match any offer sheet he signs with another team.
Brown, for one, emphasized that he is not focused on it.
“I think just coming out and playing basketball is all I’m concerned with,” he said. “The media, the headlines, the articles that are being written about it, I think that’s more of a distraction more than anything. I’m just focused on basketball.”
Little to add
Celtics coach Brad Stevens mostly declined to wade into the waters of the brewing controversy between the NBA and China.
“I don’t really have anything to add other than what’s been talked about,” Stevens said Thursday. “I think ultimately, we’ve been watching it from afar like everybody else.
“I’ve said this for a long time: I appreciate the league and the league’s support of people’s right to express themselves, and I appreciate the leadership that [commissioner] Adam Silver provides all the time. That’s all I’ve got.”
The firestorm was ignited Friday, when Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted his support for pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong.
The NBA initially put out a statement that was critical of Morey’s tweet, but as backlash in the US mounted a day later, Silver put out a statement that defended the free speech rights of Morey and other league constituents.
That created a firestorm in China, with many league sponsorship partners there quickly severing ties and Chinese broadcasters threatening not to show NBA games this season.
While there was some concern that the preseason game between the Nets and Lakers in Shanghai Friday would be postponed, it went on as scheduled, although the teams did not take part in media interviews before or after the game.
Celtics forward Gordon Hayward has an endorsement deal with the Chinese shoe manufacturer Anta; he was not made available for interviews Thursday.
His time has come
Celtics rookie Romeo Langford is on track to make his Celtics debut against the Magic Friday night. Langford, the 14th overall pick in last June’s draft, missed all of Boston’s summer league games as he recovered from surgery to repair a thumb injury.
Then he was sidelined for the start of training camp by a groin injury and sat out last Sunday’s preseason opener against the Hornets.
“Really just excited to play, finally,” Langford said. “It’s my first time playing in a real game in a long time. I’m just ready to get out there. It’s going to be a real good time.”
Although Langford has yet to take part in a game, he has already caught the eye of Stevens.
“I think the game comes easy,” Stevens said. “He’s got to learn a lot about the NBA and all the places he needs to be at the right times, but as far as making instinctual plays, playing against closeouts, playing different settings offensively and defensively, he’s got good instincts.”
Stevens said all of the players took part in Thursday’s practice and that barring any setbacks, a full roster would be available to face Orlando.