Boston Celtics secure two major pieces early in NBA Free Agency

Written by: William Petersen

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NBA Free Agency

The Boston Celtics have made quite the expensive splash early in NBA Free Agency after locking down two of their major pieces on July 1st. Boston just won their 18th NBA Championship, their first since 2008, and have now made two major moves in trying to retain this championship window by extending superstar Jayson Tatum and versatile guard Derrick White. After making history just two weeks prior by finally getting over the proverbial hump, the Celtics quickly made history again just two days into Free Agency.

The major headline around these two Celtics starts with Boston completing the biggest deal in NBA history, a five-year, $314 million maximum extension with a player option and trade kicker. The decision to give Tatum the largest extension in NBA history comes with much clarity after Tatum averaged 25 points, 9.7 rebound, and 6.3 assists throughout the NBA Playoffs and 22.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 7.2 assists in the Finals. Tatum did not win NBA Finals MVP due to his scoring struggles early in the Finals, but found other avenues to impact the game without lighting up the scoring column. With Tatum now locked in until 2029, the Celtics can feel confident with their abilities to potentially make another Finals run next season as Tatum and Jaylen Brown will be in Boston till 2028.

Another major asset Boston locked up on day two of free agency is the Colorado native Derrick White. White had a tumultuous journey to the NBA after starting his college career at the Division II level and eventually finishing his career at the University of Colorado where his play for the Buffalos resulted in the San Antonio Spurs drafting white with the 29th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. White was traded to the Celtics in February of 2022 and settled in as a role player for the Celtics during their 2022 Finals run and eventual loss to the Golden State Warriors. After White’s stellar 2024 season, the Celtics locked White in for a four-year, $125.9 million contract extension and player option that will keep white in Boston till 2028 as well. White averaged 16.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 4.1 assists during the Celtics championship run and 13.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in the Finals. It is apparent that Boston is trying to remain the best team in the East and NBA and with these two massive extensions it will be hard to make a compelling argument denying their supreme status. We will see how this roster shakes out later down the road due to cap space and the ever changing CBA in the NBA but for now Celtics’ fans can rest easy knowing the majority of their championship core will be intact for years to come.