Celtics' Jayson Tatum agrees to largest contract in NBA history with $314 million extension, per reports

Jayson Tatum will soon sign the largest contract in NBA history. He and the Boston Celtics have reportedly agreed to a five-year maximum contract extension projected to be worth $314 million. The deal includes a player option on the final season and a trade kicker, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The player option and trade kicker mean that Tatum got everything that a star player can possibly get in a deal like this. And why shouldn’t he have? The five-time All-Star led the Celtics to their 18th championship this past season, and he just turned 26 in March. This extension will run through the 2029-30 season, including the player option. Should Tatum pick up the player option, he stands to make $71.4 million. No player in league history has ever made $70 million in a single season before, and Tatum could be the first. 

Previously, Tatum’s teammate Jaylen Brown’s five-year extension, signed last summer, was the largest contract in league history ($304 million). This time next year, the Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic will be eligible to to sign a five-year extension worth a projected $346 million. And higher and higher the salaries will go. It is a good time to be a perennial All-Star in the NBA.

In 2023-24, Tatum averaged 26.9 points (on 60.4% true shooting), 8.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 35.7 minutes per game. His 29.6% usage rate was tops on the team, but his lowest mark since 2019-20, a result of Boston having an abundance of playmaking options. The Celtics scored an insane 121.7 points per 100 possessions (and outscored opponents by 11.2 per 100) with him on the court, and Tatum had the best passing season of his career. He finished sixth in MVP voting and made First Team All-NBA. 

Before the Tatum deal, Boston agreed to a four-year extension with Derrick White worth a reported $125.9 million over four years. In 2025-2026, the Celtics’ payroll is projected to be more than $200 million, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks, and that number doesn’t include the enormous luxury-tax bill that ownership — whoever that is — will have to pay. Depending on what the Phoenix Suns do going forward, Boston could become the most expensive team in league history. 

At some point, due to the roster-building restrictions that big spenders face under the new collective-bargaining agreement, the Celtics might need to figure out a way to trim payroll. That point, however, is clearly not right now. They just won the title, and they have a chance to do it again. This Tatum extension is technically historic, but, in this situation, it’s nothing more than a formality.

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