The Boston Celtics and star forward Jayson Tatum have agreed to a five-year, $195 million US max extension, ESPN reported Sunday.
The deal could approach $200 million with All-NBA escalators, per the report. The extension takes effect for the 2021-22 season, as the 22-year-old has a year remaining on his rookie contract.
The Celtics selected Tatum No. 3 overall in the 2017 draft out of Duke. He broke out in a big way this past season, averaging a career-high 23.4 points per game in the COVID-shortened season. The mark eclipsed his 2018-19 average by nearly eight points.
Tatum averaged 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.4 steals — also career highs — as he was named to his first All-Star team and to the All-NBA third team. He led Boston with 189 3-pointers.
Tatum averaged 25.7 points and 10.0 rebounds per game in the postseason, leading the Celtics to the Eastern Conference finals where they lost to the Miami Heat in six games. Tatum played an average of 40.6 minutes per game in 17 postseason contests.
Mitchell re-signs with Utah
Donovan Mitchell got the life-changing news Sunday and immediately began celebrating. He ripped off his T-shirt, ran out of the house and leaped into the pool.
And just as he did in his first three seasons with Utah, he made a huge splash.
Mitchell is now a max-contract recipient, he and the Jazz agreeing Sunday on a five-year extension that guarantees him $163 million — the new paydays start kicking in with the 2021-22 season — and could be worth $196 million if he reaches the All-NBA level.
“A dream does not become reality through magic it takes sweat, determination and hard work,” Mitchell wrote on Instagram after sharing a toast with CAA Basketball agent Ty Sullivan and some family members as the celebration continued.
The Jazz did not immediately comment. Typically, teams cannot discuss contracts publicly until they are signed, and it was unclear when Mitchell will put pen to paper to complete the transaction.
Mitchell averaged 20.5 points as a rookie, then 23.8 points in his second season and 24.0 points last season as a third-year player who wound up making the All-Star team for the first time. And even though the Jazz lost in first round of this past season’s playoffs in a seven-game epic against Denver — the Nuggets rallied from a 3-1 series deficit — Mitchell was dazzling.
He averaged 36.3 points in that series, including 57 points — the third-highest scoring total by any player in an NBA playoff game — in Game 1 of the matchup. He followed that with a 51-point outburst in Game 4, a game where he and Denver’s Jamal Murray became the first duo with 50-point performances in the same playoff game; Murray had 50..
Cauley-Stein returning to Dallas
Willie Cauley-Stein is returning to the Dallas Mavericks on an $8.2 million, two-year contract, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Sunday.
The Mavericks acquired the veteran center from Golden State before the trading deadline last season, and his impact was minimal before he opted out of the restart following the coronavirus shutdown because of the impending birth of his daughter.
Cauley-Stein declined the $2.3 million option on the two-year deal he signed with the Warriors. His return gives Dallas another option behind Kristaps Porzingis and Dwight Powell. It’s possible Porzingis and Powell will start, with Powell likely filling the traditional role of the center. Dallas also has Boban Marjanovic in a backup role.
The 27-year-old Cauley-Stein averaged 5.2 points and 4.6 rebounds in 13 games for the Mavericks. His career averages in five seasons are 9.6 points and 6.3 boards.
Rivers inks deal with Knicks
Free-agent guard Austin Rivers agreed to a three-year deal with the New York Knicks on Sunday night, according to multiple reports.
Rivers will likely be used off the bench by the Knicks. He can play both guard positions.
The 28-year-old Rivers averaged 8.8 points in 23.4 minutes over 68 games (four starts) for the Houston Rockets last season.
Washington makes some moves
Free agent forward Davis Bertans signed a five-year, $80 million deal to remain with the Washington Wizards.
The contract includes an early termination option after the fourth year, the player’s agent told ESPN.
Bertans, 28, averaged 15.4 points and 4.5 rebounds and shot 42.4 percent from 3-point range in 54 games (four starts) in 2019-20. He opted out of the NBA restart near Orlando.
Also Sunday, the Wizards announced the signing of free-agent center Robin Lopez.
The defensive-minded Lopez spent last season with the Milwaukee Bucks.
“Improving our interior defense is a priority for us and Robin’s experience, presence and IQ will absolutely help us as we work toward achieving that goal,” Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard said in a news release. “He has been consistent throughout his career on both ends of the floor and will be a solid veteran addition with a style of play that complements our young frontcourt players.”
Washington also announced it signed free-agent guard Raul Neto and brought back guard Garrison Mathews on a two-way deal. In 253 career games (57 starts) with the Utah Jazz and Philadelphia 76ers, Neto, 28, has averaged 4.9 points and 1.9 assists. Mathews, 24, played 18 games for the Wizards last season, scoring 5.4 points with 0.6 assists.