After having recently made some noncommittal remarks about his future in Boston, Celtics forward Jaylen Brown told reporters that he’s “thinking about clarifying some of the things that have been recently said,” according to Jay King of The Athletic. Asked what he wanted to clarify, however, Brown opted not to explain further.
“Right now the only thing I want to clarify is that the Celtics need to play better and win more games,” Brown said. “If I want to say something in the future about the kind of things that have been floating around I will. But in terms of right now, I like when people hear things from the horse’s mouth and you can see my reaction, my face and everything how I feel about what I’m saying. Sometimes those things can get lost in translation, you know? So if I feel the need to do so I will.”
Brown would be eligible to sign a contract extension anytime during the 2023/24 league year, starting in July. However, because he’s earning well below his maximum salary and would be limited to a 20% raise in the first year of a veteran extension, the Celtics wouldn’t be able to offer him a maximum-salary deal until free agency.
That would change if Brown earns a spot on an All-NBA team this spring, in which case he’d become eligible for a super-max contract extension (worth 35% of the 2024/25 cap) entering the final year of his current deal.
Here’s more from around the Atlantic:
- Celtics guard Payton Pritchard returned to action on Tuesday following a nine-game absence due to a left heel injury. According to Jared Weiss of The Athletic (Twitter link), Pritchard said he had plantar fasciitis and a bone bruise in the heel.
- In an interview with Shams Charania of The Athletic, Sixers center Joel Embiid discussed his health, the MVP race, and why he won’t necessarily take a “title-or-bust” mentality into this year’s postseason. “People have been talking about who has the most pressure to win. People want to mention me,” Embiid said. “I’m not at the top of that list. I’m not a two-time MVP, I’ve never made first team All-NBA, I’ve never won anything. So why is there pressure on me to do something when there are guys that have won two MVPs, a bunch of MVPs and haven’t done anything either?”
- Speaking to Ian Begley of SNY.tv and Andrew Crane and Brian Lewis of The New York Post, Ben Simmons‘ new agent Bernie Lee said that Simmons’ back issues are part of the recovery process from the microdiscectomy he underwent last May, adding that the Nets guard/forward won’t require additional surgery and is on track to be ready for training camp in the fall. “Ben is a 26 year-old-guy who is just starting his career and clearly there have been some challenges recently,” Lee told Begley. “But like every truly great person I’ve observed, Ben is motivated internally to continue to develop himself and his talent and test his ability and, most importantly, compete. He simply needs to gain the opportunity to be healthy which we believe we’ve found.”