Thursday, June 8, 2023

Why Isiah Thomas believes Celtics re-signing Jaylen Brown to supermax is 'win-win' deal

Isiah Thomas has one simple advice when it comes to Jaylen Brown approaching the final year of his current contract with the Celtics.

The Hall-of-Fame guard recently sat down with Steve Bulpett of Heavy Sports and gave his thoughts on Brown, who is eligible for a five-year, $290 million supermax extension this summer. If the Celtics offer it, he could choose either to remain in Boston long term or enter free agency and start fresh somewhere else beginning the start of the 2024-25 campaign.

According to Thomas, a longtime mentor and advocate of Brown, the All-Star wing should "take the money."
"When I got to know Jaylen Brown and how he played I said to him -- and this is before the draft process started -- I said to him, 'You're a Celtic.'" Thomas said. "He fits the Celtic culture that I played against, that I competed against. That I know."
In seven seasons with the Celtics, Brown has helped the team compete in five Eastern Conference Finals, with one appearance in the NBA Finals.
"Yeah, he's been great there," Thomas told Bulpett. "He's had a great career there, and he's become one of the best players in the league. They've done well, and he's done well there. It's been a win-win, I think, for him and for the Celtics."
Boston fell to the Golden State Warriors in six games of the 2022 Finals and were eliminated at the hands of the Miami Heat in a do-or-die Game 7 of the East Finals just over a week ago.

While Brown took the blame for the loss at TD Garden when Boston failed to complete a potential historic comeback after trailing 3-0 in the series to the Heat, it has caused many to wonder if he's worth the dollar amount of a supermax extension -- especially due to his poor showing in Game 7.

Still, Thomas believes that the impact of Ime Udoka's suspension just days prior to training camp, along with the Celtics losing top assistants Will Hardy and Damon Stoudamire was greater than most realize.
"Hey, I don't care how talented your team is, when half of your coaching staff walks out of the door, that's going to affect you," Thomas explained. "That's just how it goes. You lose your head coach and your top two assistants, you're going to be impacted by that."
Though the rivalry between the Celtics and Detroit Pistons was huge throughout the 1980's, Thomas has nothing but high praise for Brown as he continues to get over the hump from being a contender to becoming a champion in Boston.
"Trying to win a championship at the NBA level for a professional basketball player, there's no tougher thing that you'll try to do in your life," said Thomas.
With the return of Joe Mazzulla as head coach next season, the Celtics have already begun the process of bringing in new assistant coaches by reportedly hiring Sam Cassell this past week and possibly targeting Bucks top assistant in Charles Lee.

Joel Pavón

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