Brown Extension Is Latest Evidence That C's Development System Works

BOSTON – Jaylen Brown on Monday became the latest member of the Celtics to cash in on the player development environment and system that Boston has established over the last six years.

Brown became the first Celtics player in the last decade to agree to a rookie contract extension, signing a sizable deal that will keep him in Boston for the long haul and give him and his family long-term financial security.

A major factor that aided Brown’s ability to earn his extension is the player development system and environment that president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and head coach Brad Stevens have fostered. Those two men, who lead Boston’s basketball operations, have prioritized selecting the right type of people to enter the program, and the right ways to help those people develop once they’ve entered.

Brown singled out both Ainge and Stevens Tuesday afternoon while discussing Boston’s development system and the path he took toward his extension.

“I think Danny does a good job of putting the right guys in an atmosphere that want to work, want to get better,” Brown said. “Like, everybody that I can think of being around have been dogs, hard workers. Terry (Rozier), hard worker. (Marcus) Smart, hard worker. Jayson (Tatum), hard worker.

“It inspires you. It makes you want to go to another level. When you hear people talk about other teams around the league, they don’t have that sense of edge and competitiveness.”

Ainge also boosted his player development staff during the offseason by hiring Allison Feaster, a 21-year pro on the women’s side of basketball, as director of player development.

Once Ainge and his staff select the right players to enter the environment, Stevens takes over and leverages their edge and competitiveness to their advantage. He plugs those players directly into a system that prioritizes individual growth and effort.

“I think Brad is very hands-on,” Brown said, “in terms of his philosophy of how to make players better and things like that, as far as putting them in the best position possible.”

When the environment is filled with hard workers, and the system is built to maximize players’ growth, great things happen.

Brown’s extension is just the latest example of that. There is a long list of Celtics who have reaped the benefits of the organization's development environment and system by signing big deals over the last six years, a list that includes the likes of Smart, Rozier, Marcus Morris, Kelly Olynyk, Evan Turner, Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley.

That list plays right into Stevens’ development model that asks players to work hard, to compete, and to be stars in their roles.

“A lot of those guys that got big deals have come off the bench for us,” he said, “and so that’s just another example for us of, just accept your role and play it as well as you can, and really good things happen. If you’re a really good player, people know, and people are going to take note of that.”

In this most recent case, it was the Celtics who took note of the player who has been developing in front of their eyes throughout the last three-plus years. Brown put in the work, he deserved an extension, and he got it.

He certainly won’t be the last to do so in Boston.

The Celtics have built a player development environment and system that, for a fact, aids players in reaching their potential. All the players need to do is buy in, and the rest will take care of itself – just like it did for Brown Monday afternoon.

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