Celtics forward Jayson Tatum reportedly has an “unprecedented” escalator in his contract extension that could reward him in a way no player has before in NBA history.
As reported by Jared Weiss in The Athletic, Tatum and his agent landed an even better escalator than the standard for players at the end of their rookie contracts. Typically, the escalator pays 25-30 percent of the max deal in three tiers, based on making one of the three All-NBA Teams. Tatum, however, can get the full 30 percent escalator if he makes any of the three squads, in his case $32 million. His five-year, $163 extension with the Celtics begins in the 2021-22 season.
Weiss believes Tatum is “far from guaranteed” one of the 12 available spots for him (six at guard, six at forward) on the three All-NBA teams. Tatum is eligible as either a guard or a forward. But according to Weiss, so are Devin Booker, Luka Doncic, Zach Lavine, and Ben Simmons. In addition, Weiss lists Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Julius Randle, and Zion Williamson as locks, while centers Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic are also eligible at forward.
But all those names add up to 10, leaving two up for grabs if they all made it. So Tatum will certainly be in that conversation when it comes time to hand out awards. Considering he’ll be competing for votes with the likes of Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Kyrie Irving, and Donovan Mitchell at guard, his best bet is to make it as a forward over guys like DeAndre Ayton and Domanatas Sabonis.
Tatum is currently 10th in the NBA in scoring at 26.5 points per game.