After Jaylen Brown signed a four-year, $115 million contract extension with the Celtics on Monday, he knew it was time to celebrate. Well, sort of.
Brown went home and scrolled through the flood of congratulatory text messages on his phone. Then he took a nap. Then he got up and went back to the Celtics’ practice facility to work on his jump shot a bit more.
“Getting a contract extension is great,” Brown said, “but I’m playing to try to win and try to help this team as much as I can.”
Brown became the first Celtic to sign a rookie-scale contract extension since Rajon Rondo did in 2009.
If an agreement had not been reached, Brown would have become a restricted free agent after this season.
He said that as recently as Monday afternoon, before the deal was finalized, he was prepared for anything.
“I didn’t know,” Brown said. “So I just had myself set on basketball, and I told you guys that from like the jump, and I meant it. I was just extremely focused on basketball, preparing for this season and getting ready, and things just kind of fell into place.”
Coach Brad Stevens said he was pleased for Brown, especially after he sacrificed some playing time and accepted a bench role for much of last season.
“Obviously Jaylen’s a guy we all think very highly of,” Stevens said. “He’s not only proven himself able to take on a number of different roles, but also compete at the highest level and [under] the brightest lights.”
The Celtics open the regular season against the 76ers on Wednesday night. Philadelphia, of course, signed former Celtics big man Al Horford to a four-year deal this past summer, and he gives the 76ers yet another weapon.
“Al provides, like he did here, a great deal of unselfishness on the offensive end,” Stevens said. “He can play on the ball, off the ball, he can post, space, he can do all those little things, and then defensively he’s a good defender who knows all those circumstances. He’s a good player, obviously. Won a lot of games with him and we’re thankful for his time here, and the whole team is a challenge. I don’t know that there’s a more talented basketball team in the NBA.”
Stevens said that Robert Williams (concussion) is expected to be cleared to play against the 76ers. Romeo Langford (knee) will not be available.