Post-game Reactions

You know it is going to be a good offseason of speculation once ownerships gets in on the act. That seems to be the case today as Wyc Grousbeck let a big 2010 proposition slip on WEEI’s Dale and Holley earlier this afternoon. Here is the full account of the declaration according to WEEI’s website (h/t: Celticsblog)

According to Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck, they will have the financial flexibility to offer someone a full max contract next summer. Speaking with “Dale & Holley” Monday, Grousbeck did not give specifics, but he reiterated this fact by saying “there is a situation under which we could do that.” Several high-profile players who would command a max contract are currently set to become free agents in 2010, including LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Amare Stoudemire, Dirk Nowitzki, and Chris Bosh.

Celtics Hub’s Take: I would have to echo Jeff Clark’s sentiments over at CB about this one. The situation is possible but only if Paul Pierce is willing to give up millions of dollars next year by opting out of his deal early at the end of this upcoming season. (He has an player option to opt out) After doing that he could take a massive paycut (think veteran’s minimum) that would free up enough money under the cap to offer a huge contract to someone in the loaded free agent class of 2010.

A move like this by Pierce would be a extremely generous goodwill gesture as well as a testament to his desire to bring more Championships to this town. Now could the C’s sign him to a veteran’s minimum for just that one year and the resign him after 2010 to another fat contract to reward him for his goodwill gesture? Perhaps….but the Celtics would likely be well over the cap at this point and would have to pay a fat luxury tax bill on top of the salary they give Pierce in all likelihood.

All that said, it does not even account for the fact the Celtics will need to pay up big to resign Rondo after this year since he will be a restricted free agent. Unlike Pierce, Rondo has not received his first big payday yet and likely will not be looking to take a hometown discount in order to further the Celtics’ championship chances. Rondo understandably will want to be paid and the Celtics will have to respect that which will further burden the team’s luxury tax situation if offering a max deal to someone during the offseason.

Final Verdict: In a perfect world, yes this situation is possible if Pierce opts out of his deal and all the team’s cards fall into place. Even if there is no validity to Wyc’s pronouncement, you have to be encouraged if you are a Celtics fans about the possibility of Paul taking a paycut next year to help the Celtics bring home another title to Beantown. Hell, if the Truth takes a paycut of about 18 million to help this team win a Championship, well I think the city of Boston will owe The Captain his own parade around Boston.

It may be a pipe dream for now, but it definitely is a fun one to fantasize about.

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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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  • John

    Couldn't he opt out, the Celtics sign a big free agent, and he be signed for whatever amount due to Larry Bird rights? It would be hell on their payroll, and that sort of wink wink thing is illegal (cost the Heat Juwan Howard) but it sounds like it's feasible.

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  • Joe

    Brian, I don't follow your logic. Pierce, Garnett and Perkins add up to about $45m for 10/11. They can offer Rondo (they don't have to do anything else, if they choose not to until then) the $3.8m to reserve his rights. If they renounce everyone else (including Ray) they have about $15m give or take to to spend on free agency. Extreme, but an available option.

  • Ash

    Yeah, right. Not happening.

  • Dubdub

    No, unless the Cs relinquish his rights the NBA imposes a 'virtual cap hold' in an amount based on Pierce's previous year salary.

    He would have to sign a little deal first to create room.

  • Joe

    You are right if the Celtics renounce the rights to Rondo or even if they don't, they could theortically be 10-15 million under the cap for next year. I did not throw much validity into that scenario because

    1) That assumes anyone the Celtics sign this offseason would be a 1 year contract, a possible but unlikely scenario

    2) If the Celtics did offer the max amount to a free agent under the cap, they would have to sign upwards of 8 players to veteran's minimum deal, potentially turning over the entire roster. Again this is possible but highly unlikely they would turn over a large chunk of the roster.

    So yes there are other scenarios theortically where Pierce would not have to restructure his deal and the C's could still offer max money, but in my estimation the more likely scenario would be the C's would sign Pierce to a cheap one year deal after he opted out to create cap room.

  • Or, here's a thought. Maybe they're quietly looking to trade the greatest point guard in the history of the NBA for a high draft pick this year, thus pushing back the payday for a spare part to 2013, and are negotiating a long term extension with Pierce that reduces his 2011 salary in exchange for over-max money for three more years? It's just a thought.

  • Matt

    Someone commenting on the truehoop link to this suggested Wyc let this one drop because the "situation" he refers to is KG possible retirement. I hope not, but it does make those reports of the C's looking to trade up in this years draft suddenly make a little sense.

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  • How have you guys not noticed this yet?

    RAY ALLEN comes off the books after this coming season so there is your max contract that they can offer, plus so does Rondo so between the two that's somewhere around 21 mil. i believe

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