East Notes: Celtics, Jaylen Brown, Nets, Ben Simmons, Sixers


Star wing Jaylen Brown said he’s appreciative of the supermax contract extension from the Celtics, reportedly worth five years and $304 million.

“I appreciate the investment and the commitment from the Celtics,” Brown told reporters. “That commitment will be felt from me here in Boston on and off the floor.”

He added that he felt contract negotiations were straightforward after he became eligible for the supermax deal on July 1. The news he agreed to a deal came earlier this week.

“From my standpoint, they understood where I came from, they understood where we came from and it was all about meeting in a place where it made sense for everybody,” Brown said.

Meanwhile, Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck indicated giving Brown such a deal was a no-brainer.

“It’s not just about a contract or money or playing basketball. It’s about making a difference in life,” Grousbeck said. “That’s what Jaylen embodies to me and to my partner (Steve Pagliuca) and others and to all of us here at the Celtics. He’s a true Celtic. He’s a Celtic for years to come.”


Guard/forward Ben Simmons is on track to return for the start of training camp and the regular season, per Marc Spears of ESPN.

“He has passed every benchmark and is as healthy as he’s been since his last year (with the 76ers),” Spears said on NBA Today. “Brooklyn has been incredibly supportive and the plan is for him to be the Nets’ point guard and primary ballhandler this coming season. The expectation is he will fully resume his career at the level he has (played at) prior to leaving Philadelphia.”

Along with that, agent Bernie Lee recently told Brian Lewis of the New York Post that Simmons “will be healthy to start the next season, for sure.”

Still, given Simmons’ recent seasons of back injuries and missing time for unknown reasons, there remains some skepticism.

“(The Nets) might be in trouble if they’re truly relying on him,” one opposing executive told Hoops Wire.


Former NBA guard Tracy McGrady said that he can’t comprehend the trade request made by 76ers guard James Harden.

“I don’t understand for the life of me what James Harden is doing,” McGrady told GQ. “Why are you trying to get out? That makes zero sense to me. Not only that, but I look at all the teammates he’s played with. James has probably played with more Hall of Famers than anybody in the league, and he doesn’t have a ring to show for it.

“I don’t know what he’s looking for. And maybe there’s some internal bullshit that is going on that we don’t know about. Because it doesn’t make any sense to me to leave the MVP, and the Eastern Conference, where you have a shot to at least play for a championship. It’s got to be something deeper than what you know. Get over it, man.”

Harden is reportedly angling for a trade to the Clippers, but it doesn’t appear that the Clippers are that enthused, as we relayed here.

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