The NBA itself might not be kicking off on the floor until tomorrow, but the action off the floor is heating up considerably.
On Monday we saw two massive contract extensions hit the news, with Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis and Boston’s Jaylen Brown both reportedly signing four-year deals to remain with their current teams.
Sabonis has been a double-double machine for the Pacers over the last two seasons, and has been rewarded with a deal which could reach up to $85 million if certain bonuses (All-Star team selections) are hit.
He was drafted in 2016; originally selected by the Magic with the 11th overall pick, then traded to the Thunder and eventually sent to Indiana as part of the massive Paul George deal in 2017.
Sabonis’ 2018-19 season was the best of his young career, as he averaged 14.1 points and 9.3 rebounds, while shooting 59% from the floor – ranking him seventh in the league for that particular statistic.
Front-court partner Myles Turner signed a similar four-year deal – his worth $77 million – at the start of last season. The Pacers are clearly committed to using the two of them together on the floor, and those two deals are an unambiguous indication of their belief in the pairing’s potential.
Brown, meanwhile, was also taken in the 2016 draft – eight spots ahead of Sabonis at pick 3. He – along with all members of that 2016 class – were eligible to sign rookie extensions prior to a Monday deadline.
The Celtics have long been espousing their belief in Brown’s ability as one of the league’s best young forwards, and this is the ultimate sign of their faith in the product out of California.
While Brown’s regular season average of 11.2 points over his three seasons in the league is impressive, it’s in the playoffs where his true potential has shined. He dropped 13.9 per game in last year’s playoffs and 18 points a game in 18 games in 2017-18.
Both the Celtics and Pacers are projected to fall somewhere between the third and sixth seeds in the Eastern Conference by the end of the season.