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Celtics and Jayson Tatum make most lucrative deal in NBA history

Celtics and Jayson Tatum make most lucrative deal in NBA history

The Celtics have moved quickly to address their top priorities this offseason, re-signing Luke Kornet as soon as free agency began and retaining Neemias Queta shortly after, bolstering their depth at center.

Achieving that goal was especially important because Kristaps Porzingis isn’t expected to return until November and is likely to join Boston in December for Banner 19 after undergoing surgery to repair a torn retina and a dislocated posterior tibial tendon.

On a frantic Monday, the reigning NBA champions signed Derrick White to a four-year, $125.9 million contract extension. Shortly after, it was announced that the owners were planning to sell the franchise.

Now, the Celtics have also reached an agreement with Jayson Tatum on a supermax extension worth an estimated $315 million over five years, according to Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes, who adds that the deal will include a player option. It’s the most lucrative contract in NBA history. That title, which is changing hands rapidly, previously belonged to Jaylen Brown, who was signed to a veteran supermax extension last summer.

While closing this deal seemed like a safe bet, it’s still an impressive feat that it’s happening before Tatum even heads to Las Vegas to prepare for the Paris Olympics this summer. It will be a relief for both parties.

The 26-year-old star is at the peak of his powers and has just completed a series of championships that could give him a sense of relief that he can benefit from in the future.

He led Boston in points (22.2), rebounds (7.8) and assists (7.2) in the NBA Finals and continued to do so throughout the postseason, averaging 25 points, 9.7 rebounds and 6.3 assists.

The three-time All-NBA First Team selection is willing to make sacrifices as a scorer and fill every defensive role, including shutting down the Mavericks’ lob threats Dereck Lively II and Daniel Gafford in the NBA Finals, while also making a significant and much-needed impact on rebounding.

As the Celtics keep their core intact and work to turn this year’s title into the start of a dynasty, Tatum’s growth will be one of the key factors in translating those aspirations into more championship banners.