Freshly-minted NBA champion Boston Celtics are continuing to showcase why their organization is at the top of the food chain. Just in the past year, we’ve seen the front office make sure that their stars are paid handsomely.

First, they inked their star swingman Jaylen Brown into an eyebrow-raising five-year, $304 million contract last off-season. Then, this past April, first-year Celtic Jrue Holiday was given a four-year, $135M extension. Now, as expected, marquee man Jayson Tatum will get his too.

The 26-year-old is approaching the final year of a five-year, $163 M deal in the coming season, and considering what Brown and Holiday received, and how big of an impact Tatum had in the Celtics’ ascension into a huge title favorite, a massive, record-breaking $315 M supermax extension only seems right.


For context, such money will be the largest in NBA history, and it will equate to an average annual salary of $63 million.

If the parties indeed reach the said amount, the Celtics will have two $300+ million players, and possibly the top two highest-paid players in the league. It’s a crazy situation, but it should work as the NBA’s salary cap is set to reach more than $130M for the 2025-26 season.

Does Tatum deserve the dough?

Tatum has been the Celtics’ main All-Star and leading scorer in each of the last five seasons (27.6 PPG since 2019-20), and he did it while also inserting himself in three-consecutive first-team All-NBA selections (2022, 2023, and 2024), as well as breaking a couple of franchise scoring records. He then topped it off with a super regular season and a championship run. In fact, despite struggling early in the 2024 finals, he still ended up leading the team in points, rebounds, and assists, and a arguable case for Finals MVP with 22.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 7.8 assists per game.

Considering all that, this is one of those situations where the team has no choice but to pay its star what he’s worked for. It’s simply the right thing to do. 

On one end, however, it seems like the Celtics could be put in a tough position soon. With Brown, Holiday, and likely Tatum all having enormous money, the starting five alone could wound up having close to $200 million. It can work, but that’s if they are willing to have several minimum-deal guys as rotation players and also go through the tax aprons.

Celtics owner Wyc Grosbeck has said he’ll be bringing everyone back for next season. We’ll see.

Though he comes with faults (like everyone else), gambling on Tatum makes a ton of sense as he is a big-time talent who’s at the height of his powers. He may even raise his game further too, so all that plus more deep playoff runs for a chance at another ring should be good enough.