Duke basketball superstar sees major payday with max contract extension

Duke basketball standout Jayson Tatum (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball standout Jayson Tatum (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball standout Jayson Tatum received a major payday from the Boston Celtics.

Most people dream of a White Christmas, but former Duke basketball standout Jayson Tatum will be having a Green Christmas.

Tatum will remain in Boston as one of the best players on the Celtics and one of the best young players in the NBA. The All-Star has received a rookie max contract for five years worth up to $195 million, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Entering his fourth season in the NBA, making the Eastern Conference Finals twice, Tatum has seen his numbers improve in each of his first three seasons, ending in an All-Star appearance in 2019-20 and All-NBA selection.

Despite a stoppage in the regular season, Tatum averaged 23.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.4 steals per game for the Celtics, all career highs, while shooting 45.0 percent from the field and 40.3 percent from 3-point range.

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The former Blue Devil was then the catalyst for Boston to reach Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat inside the NBA Bubble, and he set multiple postseason records for the Celtics in the process.

ESPN has reported that the full designated rookie max contract of $163 million could rise to almost $200 million with All-NBA selections within the years of Tatum’s contact.

There are also incentives in the contract that could elevate its value as Jayson Tatum would receive the 30-percent max that would boost the contract’s value to $195 million, only if he is selected to the First-, Second-, or Third-Team All-NBA in the 2020-21 season, according to ESPN’s Wojnarowski.

Tatum will also have a player option in the contract, which he could opt out of for another max, or super max, deal with Boston.

Boston knows the Duke basketball superstar is vital to its success

With such a young roster, Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge knows it’s time to lock up the players, and the team was done a favor by Gordon Hayward opting out of his deal, leaving millions for Boston to use in free agency.

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Ainge has already signed Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum to extensions while inking Kemba Walker to a free-agent deal last offseason.

There is still no telling how good Jayson Tatum will eventually be in the NBA, but if the 22-year-old continues on this path, he will eventually be in the discussion as the best basketball player in the world.

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