Since arriving in Boston through trade in February 2022, Derrick White has grown to be a crucial member of the Celtics’ core.
White, who is entering the third year of a four-year, $70 million contract that expires after the 2024–25 season, has until midnight on October 23 to strike a contract extension with the Celtics. Will the C’s make sure he remains in the game after 2025?
The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach reports that White and the Celtics have “continue(d)” their talks about an extension, but as the deadline for next Monday draws near, no agreement is in the works.
Boston made it very evident that they hold great regard for White when they traded point guard Marcus Smart earlier in the offseason in order to acquire Kristaps Porzingis.
Before the team acquired Jrue Holiday, the trade made White the de facto starting point guard for the Celtics, and it remains possible that White will start for Boston even with Holiday in the lineup.
In Boston, the 29-year-old has developed into a superb two-way guard. A career-high 38.1 percent shooter from three-point range, he averaged 12.4 points and 3.9 assists per game last season. He is among the NBA’s finest perimeter defenders; he led all guards in blocks and was selected to the All-NBA Defensive Second Team.
What price could White demand for a fresh extension?
Recently, our Chris Forsberg estimated that White’s next contract will begin in 2025–2026 with a starting salary of roughly $27 million, or 140% of his present salary.
Boston would have to pay more for the transaction; the Celtics are already among the five NBA clubs that are subject to the “second apron” of the luxury tax, which carries stiff penalties that may hinder the team’s ability to add players to their roster.
Next season, superstar Jayson Tatum will also be eligible for a supermax extension, which would further entail Boston in the luxury tax.
But it appears that the ownership of the Celtics is prepared to pay whatever it takes to win Banner 18. The C’s may decide to wait until the following offseason to extend White’s contract, but if he has another successful season in Boston, his price may go up.
Boston has an incentive to sign White before player contracts balloon any further on the NBA’s next TV agreement, even if White is a highly useful player for the Celtics but is still not a max-contract player.
As the preseason draws to a close, it is therefore prudent to keep an eye on White’s contract situation through Monday of next week.