Celtics pick up Sam Hauser’s option, will negotiate extension


Hauser will be under contract for $2.1 million for the 2024-25 season.

Sam Hauser has been a key contributor off the bench for the Celtics over the last two seasons. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

As expected, the Celtics are bringing back Sam Hauser for at least one more season, but they’re hoping he remains in Boston for longer than that.

Hauser’s $2.1 million team option for the 2024-25 season will be picked up by the Celtics ahead of Saturday’s 5 p.m. deadline, The Boston Globe‘s Adam Himmelsbach reported. Additionally, Boston is expected to begin negotiating an extension with the forward when he becomes extension-eligible on July 9, Himmelsbach added in his report.

Considering the cost, the Celtics picking up Hauser’s extension seemed inevitable. But some NBA analysts floated out the idea that Boston could decline Hauser’s option in order to sign him to an extension.

That move would have given more money to Hauser upfront and would’ve ensured he remained with the Celtics beyond next summer. It also could’ve potentially helped the Celtics’ salary and tax situations in later years.

But the Celtics seem to have some confidence that it can strike an extension with Hauser. It’s “very likely” that the two sides come to terms on a long-term deal this offseason, The Athletic‘s John Hollinger reported in June.

As the Celtics are eligible to offer Hauser an extension worth 140 percent of the estimated league salary, his maximum extension offer would be a four-year, $78 million deal.

Even though some viewed the Celtics’ selection of Baylor Scheierman in the first round of Wednesday’s NBA Draft as possible Hauser insurance, Brad Stevens insisted that they value their veteran wing off the bench.

“I’m not going to get into particulars,” the Celtics president of basketball operations told reporters Thursday. “I will say we want Hauser to be here. For a long time.”

Hauser, 26, emerged as one of the league’s best 3-point specialists off the bench over the last two seasons. He averaged nine points, 3.5 rebounds, and an assist per game this past regular season. His 42.4 percent 3-point shooting was the 12th-best mark in the league.

There was some streaky play from Hauser in the postseason, hitting some low points in the Eastern Conference finals. He shot just 12.5 percent from the field in the Celtics’ sweep of the Pacers.

However, Hauser turned things around in the NBA Finals. He scored 8.2 points per game off the bench, shooting 51.9 percent from the field and 47.8 percent from deep as he also held his own defensively in the five-game series win over the Mavericks.

Stevens recently remarked that he was “impressed” by Hauser’s performance in the Finals.

“He really struggled in the Indiana series,” Stevens told NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg. “Then, he bounced back and had an amazing Dallas series. I thought he was terrific throughout. Even when he was 0 for 5 in Game 2, I thought he was terrific the whole series. Defensively, he’s a harder guy to attack than people realize.

“Even when he switched onto Luka [Doncic], and Luka scores on everybody at times, but when he switched onto Luka, he doesn’t foul. He’s smart, keeps you in front, and makes you take tough shots. He did a good job.”

Hauser first joined the Celtics in 2021, signing as a two-way deal as an undrafted free agent that offseason. He was later added to the 15-man roster following the trade deadline in the 2021-22 season.

In addition to Hauser, Jayson Tatum and Derrick White are eligible for extensions this offseason. Both are reportedly expected to agree to pricey deals to remain in Boston.

While the Celtics are limited in making moves this offseason due to the NBA’s new luxury tax rules, Stevens said he’s been given the approval from ownership to add to the payroll through keeping players with extensions.

“We have the green light to do that,” Stevens said. “And we’re just going to try to be as good as we can be again.”

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