Celtics’ Jayson Tatum set to sign largest contract in NBA history

Jayson Tatum will sign a five-year, $313.9 million extension with the Boston Celtics, a person with knowledge of the deal tells USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly until the deal is official.

This was an expected move as the Celtics had no intention of letting Tatum get to free agency. It is the largest contract in NBA history, and Tatum is expected to make $71 million in 2029-30, which will make him the first $70 million player in league history.

The Celtics and guard Derrick White just reached an agreement on a four-year, $125.9 million, and guard Jrue Holiday signed a four-year, $134.4 million extension in April. In the 2025-26 season, the Celtics are projected to pay nearly $200 million in salary to a starting five of Tatum, White, Holiday, Jaylen Brown and Kristaps Porzingis.

Tatum’s annual salary breakdown is based on a salary cap projection of approximately $154 million for the 2025-26 season. Here is what Tatum’s annual salary looks like, according to ESPN front office insider Bobby Marks:

2025-26: $54.1 million
2026-27: $58.4 million
2027-28 $62.7 million
2028-29: $67.1 million
2029-30: $71.4 million

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The Celtics have $600 million plus committed in salary to Tatum and Brown, have paid more than $110 in luxury taxes the past two seasons and will pay at least $50 million in 2024-25. The amount will be even larger when Tatum’s deal kicks in in 2025-26.

The major financial commitments come at the same time the Celtics ownership group is looking into putting the team up for sale.

‘Boston Basketball Partners L.L.C., the ownership group of the Boston Celtics, announced today its intention to sell all the shares of the team,’ the team said in the statement. ‘The controlling family of the ownership group, after considerable thought and internal discussion, has decided to sell the team for estate and family planning considerations.’

The team said it expects to sell a majority interest in 2024 or early 2025, ‘with the balance closing in 2028.’

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