Fresh Off A Championship, Jayson Tatum Agrees To The Largest NBA Contract Ever

By on July 2, 2024 in ArticlesSports News

It's been a good couple of weeks for Jayson Tatum. The Celtics wing won his first NBA championship as Boston knocked off the Dallas Mavericks in five games. During the title celebration, he got to take a playful jab at Boston's long-time Eastern Conference rival, the Miami Heat. And now, Tatum has signed a contract worth more than any other in league history.

Tatum and the Celtics agreed to a five-year deal worth $314 million. Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the contract will also include a player option for the final season. He can officially sign the deal on July 6.

If Tatum opts in for that 2029-30 season, he would make $71.4 million. There's never been a $70 million single-season salary for a player in NBA history before. By comparison, Michael Jordan played 15 seasons in the NBA and is widely regarded as the best to ever play the game. He made $94 million during his entire career.

Jayson Tatum holding out his arms during a game.

Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Coincidentally, the Celtics have now handed out the two largest contracts in NBA history. Boston signed Jaylen Brown to a five-year, $304 million extension last summer, the first $300 million contract for an NBA player. Brown had one of his better seasons and was named an All-Star. In the playoffs, Brown edged out Tatum for the Larry Bird Award (given to the most valuable player of the Eastern Conference) and the NBA Finals MVP.

During his NBA Finals speech, Brown credited Tatum, his "partner in crime." Now, they're on the books for a collective $618 million. Brown's contract will start this season, while Tatum's will begin with the 2025-26 campaign.

The Celtics are working diligently to keep their championship roster intact. The team also agreed to a four-year extension with Derrick White, which will pay the guard $125.9 million across four seasons.

As Bobby Marks noted, once Tatum's deal kicks in, the Celtics will top $200 million in team salary. The upcoming changes to the league's collective bargaining agreement will penalize teams even further for being in the luxury tax, which means Celtics ownership will essentially pay double whatever the salary ends up being—a bill worth close to $450 million. The Golden State Warriors had the most expensive payroll and tax payments this year with $382 million.

Still, it's hard to win a championship in the NBA. Boston can worry about financials later. When you have an open window, you have to go all in. Sometimes, that means making history.

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