The Boston Celtics announced that they have exercised 2019-20 rookie scale team option for Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Guerschon Yabusele. This is the fourth-year option for Brown and the third-year options for Tatum and Yabusele.
The Celtics have exercised team contract options on Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Guerschon Yabusele.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 31, 2018
NBA teams must exercise team options for players on rookie scale contracts nearly a year in advance, as the deadline is 10/31/18 for team options for the 2019-20 season. Rookie scale deals are structured as so:
· Year One – Fully Guaranteed
· Year Two – Fully Guaranteed
· Year Three – Team Option
· Year Four – Team Option
· Year Five – Qualifying Offer
If a team chooses not to exercise either the third or fourth-year option, the player then becomes an unrestricted free agent. The kicker is that the team who declined the option is limited to paying the player a first year salary up to only the amount of the declined option. This restriction also exists for teams who trade for a player that had their option declined.
Brown took a major leap from his rookie season to his second year. He increased his scoring from 6.6 to 14.5 per game. He also improved his shooting and efficiency stats across the board from year-one to year-two. This year, Brown is off to a rocky start, but his talent is evident. This makes picking up his option a no-brainer.
Speaking of no-brainers, Tatum falls in the same boat. After an outstanding rookie season, Tatum is showing signs of blossoming into a superstar in his second year. He’s increased his scoring, rebounding and assists and has become a go-to player for the Celtics when they need a play made.
Yabusele was less of a guarantee to have his option exercised. He has been limited to mostly garbage time and his development hasn’t come along quite as quickly has hoped for. With Robert Williams III in the fold, there was some thought Boston might let Yabusele go. But there is still enough upside there to continue to work with him, and his contract could have value for salary matching in a trade next year.
Exercising the 2019-20 team options for Brown and Tatum doesn’t limit the Celtics in any way as far as trading either player goes. While a trade of either remains unlikely, it’s good to note that Boston is still free to trade either player, should Danny Ainge deem it necessary.
Brown’s contract for 2019-20 is now fully guaranteed at $6,534,829. Tatum is fully guaranteed at $7,830,000. Yabusele is fully guaranteed at $3,117,240 for 2019-20. They join Gordon Hayward, Marcus Smart and Robert Williams III as the only fully guaranteed players on the Celtics books for 2019-20.