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.