Jayson Tatum

Contract Details: Rockets, Tatum, Ibaka, Craig, Patterson

Sterling Brown‘s new deal with the Rockets is a one-year, minimum-salary contract that is fully guaranteed, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). That makes it one of the simpler, more straightforward deals Houston has finalized this week.

Newly-signed forwards Bruno Caboclo and Jae’Sean Tate, on the other hand, got multiyear contracts, but they both only have $50K guarantees for now, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). Caboclo will have his 2020/21 salary fully guaranteed if he’s on the opening night roster, while Tate will get a $500K partial guarantee if he survives to the regular season opener, Marks writes.

While Caboclo has a two-year, minimum-salary deal, Tate’s three-year contract required the Rockets to dip into their mid-level exception and is worth more than the minimum in year one. As Smith details (via Twitter), Tate’s first-year salary will be $1,445,697 – typically the minimum for a player with one year of NBA experience – instead of the standard rookie minimum of $898,310.

Here are a few more new contract details:

  • Celtics forward Jayson Tatum got a 15% trade kicker on his new five-year, maximum-salary extension with Boston, while big man Serge Ibaka received a 15% trade kicker on his two-year contract with the Clippers, according to Keith Smith (Twitter links).
  • Torrey Craig‘s one-year deal with the Bucks is a guaranteed contract worth the veteran’s minimum, tweets Smith. That doesn’t come as a surprise, as Milwaukee had no exception money left besides the minimum for Craig.
  • Rather than re-signing him to a minimum-salary contract, the Clippers re-signed Patrick Patterson using his Non-Bird rights, giving him 20% more than the minimum, according to Bobby Marks (Twitter link). That means a one-year, $3.08MM contract for the veteran forward.

Celtics Sign Jayson Tatum To Five-Year Max Extension

NOVEMBER 25: Tatum’s maximum-salary contract extension with Boston is now official, the Celtics have announced on their official site.

NOVEMBER 22: The Celtics have agreed to a five-year, maximum-salary contract extension with forward Jayson Tatum, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). The deal will go into effect for the 2021/22 season, once Tatum’s rookie contract expires. Ryan McDonough of Radio.com tweets that the deal includes a fifth-year player option for the 2025/26 season.

Tatum, 22, blossomed into an All-Star during his third season in Boston. He posted career-high averages of 23.4 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.4 SPG, and 0.9 BPG across 66 games for the Celtics during the regular season. Tatum also logged impressive shooting splits of .45/.403/.812.

Along with his fellow 2020 Boston All-Star, point guard Kemba Walker, and ascendant young forward Jaylen Brown, Tatum led the Celtics to their second Eastern Conference Finals appearance of his young tenure during the 2019/20 season.

As Bobby Marks of ESPN details (Twitter link), Tatum’s starting salary will be worth at least 25% of the 2021/22 salary cap. If he makes an All-NBA team again in 2021, his deal will start at 30% of next year’s cap. Based on a 3% cap increase, Tatum’s first-year salary will range from about $28.1MM to $33.7MM.

Marks notes in a separate tweet that, if Tatum and/or his fellow recently-extended young All-Star Donovan Mitchell, qualifies for the full 30% extension by making any of the three All-NBA teams next season, either player would earn the biggest rookie extension in NBA history. Sixers All-Star Ben Simmons holds the current record at $177.2MM.

Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox could also earn the 30% max on his new deal, though he’ll have to earn All-NBA First Team honors to do so, per the terms of his own extension. Among this year’s players eligible for rookie contract extensions, Tatum, Mitchell and Fox are the only three who have agreed to terms so far.

With Brown’s own extension (for $103MM in guaranteed money plus an additional $12MM in possible incentives) locked in through the 2023/24 season, getting off the contract of oft-injured veteran forward Gordon Hayward a year early has helped streamline Boston’s books for the immediate future, while securing their young core. Hayward opted out of the final year of his deal with Boston to sign a four-year, $120MM contract with the Hornets yesterday.

In terms of the team’s immediate roster-building, Boston will be able avoid the luxury tax this season thanks to Hayward’s departure. The club can still upgrade its roster using its $3.6MM biannual exception, along with trade exceptions acquired through the moves of Vincent Poirier and Enes Kanter.

Brown, Walker, and Tatum will all be under contract together for the next two seasons. Walker has a $37.7MM player option for 2022/23, his age-33 season. Defensive stalwart Marcus Smart has the team’s next-biggest contract, and is owed $27.8MM through the 2021/22 season.

Yesterday, the Celtics added center Tristan Thompson, signed into the club’s full mid-level exception. He will earn $19MM through 2021/22. Boston also fully guaranteed the contracts of incumbent starting center Daniel Theis and reserve forward Semi Ojeleye. Theis may be in line for a raise when he enters unrestricted free agency in 2021.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Max Contracts Expected For Ingram, Tatum, Mitchell

Teams around the NBA are projecting Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram, Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, and Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell to agree to maximum-salary contracts with their respective teams not long after free agency opens, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link).

Ingram, the top restricted free agent on the market this fall, made the All-Star team for the first time in 2020, averaging 23.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and 4.2 APG as the Pelicans’ go-to scorer. His maximum salary for the coming season will be $27.3MM and he could earn up to $158.3MM if he signs a full five-year contract. A four-year max deal would be worth $122.2MM.

As for Tatum and Mitchell, neither player is a free agent this year, but both are eligible for rookie scale extensions that will go into effect in 2021/22. They’ve long been considered two of the most likely players from this year’s group of rookie-extension-eligible players to sign lucrative new contracts, so Stein’s report comes as no surprise.

The value of Tatum’s and Mitchell’s contracts will depend on how much the cap increases for the ’21/22 season. A 3% increase would result in a total value of at least $163MM over five years. That number could go a little higher if Rose Rule language is included in their new deals and they make an All-NBA team in 2021.

Stein adds that Anthony Davis is expected to be a max-salary player too, which is a given. A report earlier today indicated that Davis may take his time considering the length and structure of his contract before formally re-signing with the Lakers.

Atlantic Notes: Kemba, Tatum, Nets, Knicks

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge doesn’t expect Kemba Walker to require offseason surgery to address his left knee issues, but said today that the point guard was “definitely not himself” during the playoffs, tweets Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. According to Ainge, the club will construct a plan for Walker going forward to try to avoid having that happen again.

“In fairness to Kemba, he doesn’t want to say (that he wasn’t himself). He doesn’t say that to our coaches. He doesn’t say that to you, the media. He doesn’t say that to me. I haven’t heard one excuse from him,” Ainge said, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “But watching the games, even the games we won, even the games where he played well, I could tell he wasn’t the same physically as he was in October, November, December. So we’re going to try to get that Kemba back.”

While Walker still made some big plays for the Celtics en route to the team’s appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals, his postseason numbers reflect that he wasn’t at his best. He made just 31.0% of his three-point attempts in 17 playoff contests after knocking down 38.1% during the season.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Ainge didn’t sound worried about being able to lock up Celtics forward Jayson Tatum to a long-term contract extension sooner rather than later. “Jayson knows how much we like him,” Ainge said, according to Bontemps. “We have a good relationship. Jayson likes it here, so I’m confident that we’ll be able to work something out this summer — this offseason, I should say.”
  • Appearing on Kevin Durant‘s podcast this week, Nets teammates Durant and Kyrie Irving denied playing a role in Kenny Atkinson‘s dismissal and made some unusual comments about the club’s new head coaching situation. Brian Lewis of The New York Post has the details.
  • Alex Schiffer and William Guillory of The Athletic explore whether a Jrue Holiday trade between the Pelicans and Nets might make sense, as well as what such a deal would look like. The two Athletic writers conclude that it’s probably not a great match.
  • Marc Berman of The New York Post takes a closer look at Tyrese Haliburton as a possible Knicks draft target, while Kira Lewis‘ trainer Cory Underwood talks to Ian Begley of SNY.tv about the Alabama guard’s potential fit with the Knicks.

Celtics Notes: Tatum, Draft, Brown, Offseason

The Celtics entered the Eastern Conference Finals as slight favorites to beat Miami, but for the third time in four years, Boston couldn’t get over the hump and advance to the NBA Finals after becoming one of the last two teams standing in the East.

As Bobby Marks details in an Insider-only piece for ESPN.com, the next steps for the Celtics this offseason will be to lock up Jayson Tatum to a maximum-salary rookie extension and to determine how best to upgrade the roster around Tatum and their other core pieces.

According to Marks, determining what to do with their three first-round picks this year also represents a key decision for the Celtics. A year ago, the team used three picks in the top 33 and got mixed results from the trio of Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, and Carsen Edwards. With three of the top 30 selections in the 2020 draft, Boston will have to decide whether to draft three players again, attempt to trade up, or look to turn one or two of those picks into future assets.

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • Asked after Sunday’s loss about the possibility of a rookie scale extension, Tatum deflected the question, indicating that he hasn’t seriously considered the idea yet. “I was just focused on this season,” Tatum said, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “The front office and my agent gotta talk about it. But I’m not thinking about that right now. We just lost a series. Just thinking about the guys in the locker room and the games. That’s what I’m thinking about. Stuff like that, going to happen, if it happens, (is) not really my concern.”
  • Once his extension goes into effect in 2020/21, Jaylen Brown‘s first-year cap hit will be $23.73MM, notes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). That figure includes a $22.99MM base salary and $744K in likely incentives. Brown can earn further incentives in future seasons on that deal if he achieves certain individual accolades.
  • Despite the disappointing end to their playoff run, the 2019/20 season should only serve to fortify the Celtics’ direction going forward, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic, who says the club still has a very promising future.

Atlantic Notes: CP3, Nash, Stevens, Hayward

After the Sixers were swept out of the first round of the 2020 playoffs, the team fired longtime head coach Brett Brown, who had survived several front office shakeups. But the on-court personnel could use some changes, too. Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer makes the case for a Chris Paul trade.

Paul, an All-Star in 2020 during his first season with the Thunder, is scheduled to earn $41.3M and $44.2M in the final two years of his current contract. With the Sixers, the 35-year-old point guard could give All-Star guard/forward Ben Simmons more off-ball opportunities and serve as a first-rate facilitator for All-Star center Joel Embiid.

Pompey posits that current Sixers forward Tobias Harris or center Al Horford could be packaged (presumably along with future draft equity) into a deal for Paul.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • New Nets head coach Steve Nash acknowledges that he was brought on board with the franchise because of his interpersonal relationships and culture-building skills, rather than his knowledge of X’s and O’s. “I think they understand that my acumen for the game is strong and I can catch up on any of the tactical aspects,” Nash told Pelicans guard J.J. Redick in a recent edition of Redick’s The Old Man and the Three podcast (per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News). “I think they hired me because of my experience, the personality to work with these guys and help them grow and reach their potential and bring it all together.”
  • Following an emotional postgame locker room conversation, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens held a late-evening hotel meeting with four of his frustrated stars, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart met with Stevens to unpack their feelings following a Game 2 loss to the Heat that puts Boston in an 0-2 hole for the Eastern Conference Finals.
  • Celtics forward Gordon Hayward is hoping to return to action for Game 3 on Saturday, per Jared Weiss of The Athletic (Twitter link). Hayward’s addition to the active roster would give Boston much-needed lineup flexibility and shooting help.

NBA Announces 2019/20 All-NBA Teams

The NBA has officially announced its All-NBA teams for the 2019/20 season. Voting was completed prior to the league’s restart in July and was based on results through March 11.

Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Lakers forward LeBron James, widely considered the two frontrunners for this year’s MVP award, were the only two players to be unanimously voted to the All-NBA First Team this season. Rockets guard James Harden, Lakers big man Anthony Davis, and Mavericks guard Luka Doncic rounded out the First Team.

The full All-NBA teams are listed below, with their vote totals in parentheses. Players received five points for a First Team vote, three points for a Second Team vote, and one point for a Third Team vote, so Giannis and LeBron scored a perfect 500 — First Team nods from all 100 voters.

All-NBA First Team

All-NBA Second Team

All-NBA Third Team

Among the players who just missed the cut were Bucks forward Khris Middleton (82 points), Sixers center Joel Embiid (79), Wizards guard Bradley Beal (32), and Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (26). A total of 11 other players also received at least one All-NBA vote — the full results can be found right here.

Today’s announcement is great news from a financial perspective for Siakam and Simmons. As a result of Siakam’s Second Team nod and Simmons’ Third Team spot, both players will earn starting salaries worth 28% of the 2020/21 salary cap, rather than 25%. Players who sign rookie scale extensions can earn maximum salaries up to 30% of the cap if they negotiate Rose Rule language into their deals.

The exact value of those new contracts will depend on where exactly the ’20/21 cap lands. Assuming it stays the same as in 2019/20 ($109.141MM), Siakam’s four-year extension would be worth $136.9MM instead of the $122.2MM it’d be worth if it started at 25% of the cap. Simmons’ five-year pact would be worth $177.2MM rather than $158.3MM.

While it’s also worth noting that All-NBA berths are of great importance to players seeking super-max contracts, there aren’t any real developments to report on that front as a result of this year’s votes. Antetokounmpo and Gobert remain eligible for super-max extensions, but they’d already qualified based on their previous accolades.

Embiid would have become super-max eligible in 2021 if he had earned an All-NBA spot, but he’ll need to make an All-NBA team next season to gain eligibility now, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets.

Hoops Rumors readers accurately picked 12 of this season’s 15 All-NBA players in our spring poll. Beal, Embiid, and Devin Booker were your picks who didn’t make the official list. Of the 12 who made it, 11 made the exact team you projected, with Paul (who made Second Team instead of Third Team) representing the only exception.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Atlantic Notes: Dinwiddie, Nash, Raptors, Tatum, Sixers

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie is confident that Steve Nash will succeed as the new head coach of the franchise, he told Shlomo Sprung of Forbes.com.

Dinwiddie discussed a variety of subjects in the interview, including Nash, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and more. Brooklyn announced the hiring of Nash last week with no prior media coverage of the possibility, surprising observers around the league.

“It was definitely out of left field,” Dinwiddie said. “I think overall, it makes sense from the relationship perspective.”

Nash shares a close relationship with Durant, having worked for the Warriors as a player development consultant during his run with the team. Brooklyn consulted Durant, Irving and others before hiring Nash, a decision that received positive reviews from those in the franchise.

“Obviously white privilege is a thing, 1000%,” Dinwiddie said. “But in this situation, he’s only one of the most qualified basketball players of all time and is friends with the stars of our team and the GM of the team [former teammate Sean Marks]. It kind of makes sense beyond the fact that he doesn’t have coaching experience.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division tonight:

  • Blake Murphy of The Athletic examines six takeaways from the Raptors‘ seven-game series loss to the Celtics. Toronto was 0.5 seconds away from going down 3-0 before OG Anunoby‘s buzzer-beating shot in Game 3, climbing back to force the hard-fought series to seven games. The Raptors have several key players set to reach free agency this offseason, including Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol.
  • Celtics forward Jayson Tatum passed his latest test to superstardom in leading the team over Toronto, Jared Weiss of The Athletic writes. Tatum has steadily improved on both ends since entering the league, recording 29 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in the team’s Game 7 victory. “He’s a superstar. He showed it tonight,” teammate Kemba Walker said after that game. “Anyone have any question or doubt on that? He showed it.”
  • Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue remains the best option for the Sixers as they search for a new head coach, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer opines. Lue and the Sixers both share a mutual interest for the position, according to Pompey, which was vacated when the team fired Brett Brown after a disappointing 2019/20 season.

Atlantic Notes: Nash, Sixers, Lue, Raptors, Tatum

Having poached Kevin Durant from Golden State a year ago, the Nets have now hired away Steve Nash – a former Warriors player development consultant – to be their new head coach.

However, Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers respects Nets GM Sean Marks professionally and personally and sees no reason to treat Brooklyn “like some kind of pillager,” writes ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Myers also understands why the Nets would target someone like Nash to coach Durant and Kyrie Irving.

“Steve Nash has the ability to walk out onto the court and earn the immediate respect of Kevin Durant or Steph Curry or Klay Thompson — and there aren’t too many people in the world who can do that,” Myers told Wojnarowski. “More than that, though, he can communicate with them effectively and efficiently.

“… There’s not a lot of teaching left for the most accomplished players in the world. Steph is not going to listen to many people about his jump shot. Steve might be one of the only people in the world outside of Dell (Curry) that he’d give an audience on that conversation.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • After the Nets hired Nash and Villanova’s Jay Wright withdrew from consideration for the Sixers‘ head coaching job, Philadelphia appears likely to aggressively pursue Tyronn Lue for their head coaching position, according to Chris Mannix of SI.com (via Twitter). Mannix reiterates that there’s strong mutual interest between Lue and the 76ers, as we’ve heard before.
  • The Raptors had a better regular season record this year than they did in 2018/19, but without Kawhi Leonard to bail them out on offense, they’ll need scorers to step up in order to make another deep playoff run, writes Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca.
  • Celtics forward Jayson Tatum tells Shams Charania of The Athletic that he remains close with former teammate Kyrie Irving. “Ky is like my big brother,” Tatum said. “We still talk to this day, and we’ve talked a few times this playoffs. He always encourages me to be special. Having that relationship with him and having somebody like him in my ear at a young age, it means a lot.”

Celtics Notes: Hayward, Bench, Tatum, Brown

It has been two weeks since the Celtics announced Gordon Hayward would be sidelined for approximately four weeks due to a sprained ankle, and head coach Brad Stevens said on Monday that the forward’s rehab is “going OK” so far, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

“He feels a little bit better,” Stevens said of Hayward. “Still has a pretty significant amount of … I don’t think his gait is perfect yet. Once his gait feels right and becomes perfect, he’s probably on a quicker course to coming back. I think he’ll rejoin us in the bubble at some point soon, but he still will be some time away when he does do that.”

The second-round series between the Celtics and Raptors is expected to conclude no later than September 11, so if Hayward is still at least a couple weeks away, he won’t suit up at all against Toronto. However, if the C’s can advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, a Hayward return could be in play.

As Bontemps notes, Hayward had previously indicated that he’d leave the NBA’s campus in September to be with his wife for the birth of their fourth child. It’s unclear if that’s still his plan, or when exactly that would happen. For now, he continues to focus on getting healthy.

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • So far in Orlando, the Celtics haven’t just survived without Hayward — they’ve thrived, Bontemps writes in a separate ESPN.com story, exploring how Marcus Smart and the team’s bench players have stepped up in the starting forward’s absence. If the Celtics continue to be successful without Hayward in the lineup, it may fuel further speculation about the 30-year-old’s future in Boston — he’ll likely exercise a $34.2MM player option for 2020/21 before becoming a free agent next year.
  • As in 2018, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge didn’t upgrade the team’s bench at this season’s trade deadline. Sean Deveney of Forbes.com argues that Boston’s lack of bench depth was costly during the playoffs two years ago, but says the hope is that history won’t repeat itself this year.
  • For years, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were viewed by many league observers as possible centerpieces in trades for superstars. Now, they look like the players the Celtics will build around for years to come, writes Chris Mannix of SI.com. Mannix examines how that happened, the relationship between Tatum and Brown, and how – as Tatum puts it – they “feed off each other” on the court.