Boston Celtics

Brad Stevens addresses potential Derrick White contract extension

Stevens clearly thinks very highly of the veteran Celtics guard.

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Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens loves handing out contract extensions. Will Derrick White be the next recipient?

The veteran guard currently is under contract for just one more season before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2025. White will be eligible for an extension beginning July 1, however, and he and the Celtics reportedly discussed a potential extension prior to the 2023-24 season.

In the wake of Jrue Holiday's recent four-year, $135 million extension, Stevens was asked Tuesday how much motivation there is to reach a similar long-term deal with White this summer.

"I can't talk about much with things that we're not allowed to discuss until July 1, but Derrick's had an amazing year," Stevens replied, as seen in the video player above. "Derrick is a huge, huge part of our team and we want him around for as long as we can keep him around."

It's obvious that Stevens and the Celtics think very highly of White, and with good reason. He's gotten consistently better since arriving via trade from the San Antonio Spurs in February 2022 and took another leap this season, averaging career highs in points (15.2 per game), assists (5.2) and blocks (1.2). He's blossomed into an elite two-way guard who should make an NBA All-Defensive Team for the second straight season.

The question is whether Boston can afford to give White a long-term extension while also paying big money for Jayson Tatum (who's eligible for a supermax extension this offseason), Jaylen Brown, Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis.

But Stevens' comments about White suggest that keeping him in Boston is a top priority, and as Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix explained recently, it seems like the front office has the green light from ownership to spend over the luxury tax if it means keeping this core together long-term.

"I don't think [Holiday's extension] prevents the Celtics from signing Derrick White," Mannix said last week on NBC Sports Boston's Arbella Early Edition. "The Celtics have shown as an ownership group, as a front office that if there is a pathway to winning championships, they're willing to spend whatever it takes.

" ... Within the NBA's rules, I think the Celtics will do whatever it takes to keep this team together, to keep a multiple championship window type of team open."

White has been a perfect fit in Boston, and it would be very surprising to see him hit unrestricted free agency in 2025. So, don't be surprised if extension talks pick up in earnest after July 1.

Check out Stevens' full media availability in the YouTube video below.

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