Post-game Reactions

The latest on Nocioni trade rumblings come courtesy of Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.COM:

Two league sources contacted Tuesday said Boston is unlikely to get involved in such a deal.

The deal, according to ESPN, would sent Philadelphia’s Samuel Dalembert to Sacramento, with Brian Scalabrine, Tony Allen and Sacramento’s Kenny Thomas all going to Philadelphia while the Celtics would land Nocioni.

If it were to happen, the deal would be news to Nocioni’s agent, George Bass.

“I haven’t heard about a deal being done involving Andres,” Bass said in a phone interview this morning.

Celtics Hub’s Take: Zach Lowe had some initial thoughts on the deal this morning. Here is a portion of his take:

My gut reaction: This would be a good deal for the C’s. Yes, it’s a 3-for-1 deal, but when big games come around, the rotation is only going to go so deep. The most relevant skill leaving Boston in this (wildly theoretical) trade is Scal’s three-point shooting, and Nocioni can approximate that.

We all knew Ainge would try and use the Allen/Scal/Giddens expiring deals as trade chips. People tend to get carried away dreaming up wonderful deals, but $7M in expiring deals linked to role players (and in the case of TA and Giddens, “role players” is generous at this point) isn’t going to net you much more than a useful guy like Noc.

Now, I agree with Zach in theory here. In the short term, this deal is a no brainer. Nocioni can shoot the 3 ball well, plays pesky defense and would bolster an all ready terrific bench to become arguably the best second unit in the league. With that said, I am not at all surprised about the Celtics reservations about this deal as I share them, due to the long term implications. A closer look at those, after the jump:

I spent a good amount of time breaking down the C’s future salary cap situation after the Rajon Rondo extension earlier this month. A breakdown of how much money The Celtics have all ready committed next year, in that piece:

Paul Pierce: 21.5 million (player option)
Kevin Garnett: 18.8 million
Rasheed Wallace: 6.3 million
Kendrick Perkins: 4.9 million
Glen Davis: 3 million
Rajon Rondo: 9.1 million* (estimated)

Total salary committed: 63.6 million

When you throw in Nocioni’s 7 million dollar cap number for next year, that makes over 70 million dollars committed to just 7 players for next year. Grant it, those are 7 strong players to build a team around but with a luxury tax number likely to fall between 62-65 million dollars next year, The C’s will be very hard pressed to fill the gaps on the team.

Knowing this, the biggest problem I have with Nocioni coming in, is that it significantly decreases the probability that Ray Allen would be able to be brought back for next year and beyond. It’s too early to estimate exactly what the market will be for Allen after this year, but early predictions have been coming in at around 7-10 million dollars per year, more than a 50% paycut from this year.

If Nocioni comes to town and the C’s are all ready on the books for 70 million dollars, would Ainge be able to justify spending another 8-10 million on Ray, when he still needed to fill out half the roster? That would be roughly 80 million dollars committed to just 8 players if Allen were to sign at that price, leaving the team 15 million dollars over the luxury tax with 5 players still left to sign. For an old team that could use some depth to keep their stars minutes down, that’s not a good spot to be in. 

For a sense of perspective, the team’s total salary this year is 84.5 million (5th highest in the league) at last count. This means Wyc Grousbeck and company are anteing up close to 100 million dollars in players salaries, once you include the luxury tax dollar for dollar penalty with the luxury tax standing at 69 million.

Now if Wyc wants to open the checkbook and sign Ray while filling out the rest of the roster adequately for another 10 million dollars, I’d be all for it, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t see it happening when a 85-90 million dollar payroll up against a 65 million dollar luxury tax would mean the team is paying at least 105 million dollars in total salaries, a number that just doesn’t seem feasible in this economy, for this team.

For that reason, I would would be opposed to this Nocioni deal, as it was severely hamper this aging’s team flexibility long term.I don’t think the team could afford to have both Ray Allen and Andres Nocioni here next year. Given the choice of those players, I would want Ray for next year. And given the latest surrounding these rumors, it sounds like Danny Ainge does too.

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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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  • Sophomore

    Agreed on your reservations about Nocioni.

    On Ray, I’ll reserve judgment until I see how the team looks in the playoffs, but if they look slow and old I’ll be rooting for the Cs to use Ray’s salary on a younger, more athletic player.

  • Steve

    Once again, you have to consider is it more profitable to have a team in the NBA finals at $105 million or a first round exit at $95 million? That’s a lot of TV time, playoff priced seats, shirts, hats, etc to sell in those few weeks…

  • “Now if Wyc wants to open the checkbook and sign Ray while filling out the rest of the roster adequately for another 10 million dollars, I’d be all for it, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t see it happening when a 85-90 million dollar payroll up against a 65 million dollar luxury tax would mean the team is paying at least 105 million dollars in total salaries, a number that just doesn’t seem feasible in this economy, for this team.”

    That’s the key. Adding Nocioni to this team is good. Adding him and then LOSING Ray Allen is bad.

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  • Tom

    Nocioni is nothing but a role player (almost like Varejao). Do you want to spend that much money to him for the long term? They could have kept James Posey for cheaper and shorter……

  • Cptn Bubbles

    Just what the Cs need, another 3 pt shooter. Looks like he has been taking about 4 or more per game recently & his % made is down. When all these 3s miss with their long rebounds, it’s like an automatic fast break to the other end. Don’t the Cs have a lot of shooters already? Wouldn’t it be better if Noc was taller, younger, loved to rebound & play D?

    To me, Off. Rebounding is down because so many of the Cs prefer jump shots. It’s like 1 jump shot & then there is only 1 guy in the post, if any, trying to off. rebound (sometimes Rondo darts into the lane for the off. board). Everybody is too far away from the basket when the jump shot goes up. Usually, I just see Perk surrounded by 3 players from the other team when the jumper misses on the offensive end.

    All of this brings up a question…Do the Cs need a post game? If they can score on all those limited, one & done jumpers, no– but if they want 2nd attempts & the chance to get more free throws+get other teams bigs (who tend to be their best rebounders) in foul trouble then the answer is yes, they do need more of a post game. There was really zero pressure on Atlanta’s bigs when it came to Boston’s offensive rebounding. It was just mostly 1 & done. One way to get Smith & Horford off the boards is to get them in foul trouble by battling them on the off. board. Those guys are hyper aggresive & just can’t resist trying to block every shot (that is were their youth is a disadvantage). If you keep battling them on the offensive board you are going to draw some fouls and/or zap more of their energy. Atlanta’s bigs put a lot of pressure on Boston, but the favor was never really returned on the offensive end by Boston. The post game can also open up the whole floor if the D rotates down into the lane. Thanks you guys for such a great site.

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  • i been a celtics fans 4 ever and i don’t think you should should let RAY ALLEN go because he is way better than nacione what ever his name is we nned the big three to retire from the celtics like PARISH,MCHILE, AND LARRY BIRD that’s the back bone from our team and like i said before if we change are roster now next year we wont be able to to get no other start like josh smith, d wade, derick rose, james possy, people like that and i knoe that’s too much but is just an example so to me i don’t think is worth it is just fine the way the celtics roster is now,lets play with heart and we gonna ge the next banner trust me and belive in your selves!!!!