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The Celtics Actual Cap Situation: Dashing Dreams

 

Over the last week or so, there has been a lot of misinformation, both on blogs and in the mainstream media, about the Celtics cap situation going forward. This is my best attempt to get things right, and I have bounced this off of a few cap experts. There may be a minor error in here someplace—there almost always is when you write about the cap—but I believe this is as close to an accurate accounting of Boston’s cap situation as has been written, and I have heard nothing from anyone that would make me think otherwise.

The general theme is this: Boston does not have cap space (though they can get it, in theory), so it would be best to stop dreaming of the C’s getting into the free agent bonanza.

The nitty-gritty:

Let’s start with two assumptions many folks are making when they argue that, should a few things happen, the Celtics could have significant cap space:

1) Paul Pierce decides NOT to exercise his $21 million option for next season, becoming a free agent instead;

2) Rasheed Wallace retires in a way that costs the Celtics $0 in their 2010 cap figure. (Note: This is unlikely, but let’s just assume it happens for the purposes of this exercise).

Given those two events, the C’s would then have the following money committed to five players, according to the indispensable ShamSports, who is likely mourning England’s disastrous 4-1 loss to Germany:

Kevin Garnett: $18,832,044

Kendrick Perkins: $4,140,208

Glen Davis: $3,000,004

Rajon Rondo: $9,090,909

Avery Bradley: $1,181,800*

*Note for nit-pickers: The league’s collective bargaining agreement sets out salaries for first-round picks linked to their spot in the draft. Teams and draftees can negotiate salaries ranging from 80 to 120 percent of that set amount. For Bradley, I’ve used the set amount rather than a higher or lower amount in that 80 to 120 percent range.

That adds up to: $36,244,965. With a salary cap projected at about $56.1 million, your first instinct is to scream for joy that the Celtics, in this scenario, could have about $20 million in cap room.

But this is not how the NBA’s salary cap works.

First: League rules dictate that you must carry at least 12 active players. If you are on the hook for fewer than 12 players, you must artificially increase your cap figure by slotting in salaries for those leftover players.

In this Boston scenario, with five players signed, the team would have to account for seven imaginary players to reach the required 12. According to question #14 of Larry Coon’s salary cap Bible, the team does that by charging itself the rookie minimum salary for each of those seven spots.

The rookie minimum for 2011 is $473,684. Multiply that by seven and you get: $3,315,788.

Add that to our original figure, and you finish with this:

$39,560,753

Again: It appears the Celtics have enough cap room to offer a player a maximum contract!

But this is fool’s gold. The main reason is that a team’s own free agents don’t just disappear from its cap figure. As serious fans know, a team is allowed to go over the salary cap to sign its own free agents—this is what is commonly known as Larry Bird rights. However, the league does not allow teams to go through this sequence:

1) Get under the cap;

2) Maintain Bird Rights on all of its players;

3) Go over the cap by signing free agents from other teams;

4) Then sign its own free agents via Bird Rights

The way the league prevents this is by charging teams an artificial salary for each of their own free agents. This is called a cap hold, and it is based on each player’s prior salary and experience in the league. You can calculate each Boston free agent’s cap hold using the formulas here.

Ray Allen’s cap hold alone is about $20 million. If Paul Pierce opts out, his cap hold would also be about $20 million. Those figures count in Boston’s salary cap figure, meaning adding in cap holds for Pierce and Allen alone—not to mention cap holds for Tony Allen, Brian Scalabrine and others—takes the Celtics way, way, way, way over the projected cap of $56.1 million. **

In other words: The Celtics have no cap space.

**Adding in cap holds is the same as adding a roster spot, so as long as cap holds exist, you don’t have to fill in so many empty slots with the rookie minimum. That’s just a house-keeping note; it doesn’t change the cap situation in any meaningful way.

Now, you might ask: Can the Celtics get rid of those cap holds so that they can get their cap figure down to that trim-looking $39.5 million mark?

Yes, they can, and the way to do it is simple: The team could renounce its Bird rights on all of its free agents, including Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. Do that, and the team’s salary cap figure really would be $39.5 million, and they really would have about $16.5 million in cap room.

But here’s the thing: If the team renounces Bird rights on Pierce and Allen, it can no longer go OVER the salary cap to re-sign them. They would be prohibited from doing that.

So, sure, they’d have $16.5 million in cap room, but that is (basically) all they would have.

Repeat: That is all the money they would have to fill at least eight roster spots in order to get up to the league-required 13 players (12 active, one inactive).

They would NOT be allowed to go back over the cap.

They would LOSE their mid-level exception, because teams that are under the cap do not get one. You cannot start the official off-season under the cap, go over it and get back the mid-level exception.

They would KEEP the veteran’s minimum exception, since that remains with teams regardless of their cap situation.

Can you sign eight decent players with $16.5 million and only the veteran’s minimum to play with?

Anything is possible in theory, but this would take incredible and unrealistic financial sacrifices from a number of ring-hungry veterans.

  • username

    sign Nowitzki…..

  • Kiat-Jin Lee

    Indeed, for the new season, we would be reduced to utilizing sign and trade, our midlevel exception, and the veteran’s minimum. In addition, we would be without our biannual exception.

    Hence, it would be crucial to resign the likes of Ray Allen and sign the player(s) on MLE on short-term contracts to ensure maximum cap flexibility once the contracts of Garnett and Pierce expire.

  • Jay P

    Zach, did you ever find out what date the league uses to determine if a team is under the cap and eligible for the MLE and bi-annual? Is it the July 1st start of FA?

    I know PP has to give his decision by the 30th, so I’m curious, when/if he opts out, does the team have to renounced his bird rights that day to have his cap hold removed on July 1 at the start of FA?

    If they renounce Paul or Rays rights to free the cap holds, those lose the MLE, since they’d be under the cap on July 1? But what happens if the renounce the rights after July 1, can they use the MLE still, and then use the cap space after they either sign Paul/Ray, or renounce their rights?

    Ugh, this stuff makes my head spin.

  • dslack

    Excellent post, Zach.

    I could imagine them going this route (of clearing as much cap space as possible) if Doc decides not to return and Pierce decides to test the waters. If that happens, it would obviously be best to sign the free agent who they think will be best in 2 summers, not the one who will be best now. That’s because 2 summers from now is when KG’s contract expires, and they can make a real splash in the free agent market. They want to have guys on the team at that point who will make it attractive for a free agent to want to join them. For instance, this is unrealistic but just bear with me: If they had a choice between Joe Johnson and Rudy Gay, it would be much better to go with Gay because even if Johnson is somewhat better now, by 2012 Gay will be the much better player. Of course, it’s slim pickings in 2012 anyway. Possible free agents include Carmelo (if he exercises his player option next year), Durant (if he takes the qualifying offer next summer and then becomes a free agent the following summer), David West, Barbosa, Nash, Camby, Duncan, Vince Carter, … no one I’d want to blow max money on. 2013, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, and Deron Williams will be free agents. Going the cap-clearing route requires maintaining Sam Presti-esque financial discipline until 2013, in my view. (And not being a contender until then.)

    But I suspect that Doc and Pierce will both want to return, and so the team will go for one last hurrah with the current crew, plus a midlevel free agent, plus whomever they can get for Sheed’s contract (I’m hoping for Beasley?).

  • dslack

    @JayP:
    If they ever are under the cap even adding in the MLE (which opperates as a cap-hold), then poof, the MLE disappears.

    Just to be clear, in your scenario, do they sign someone using the MLE prior to renouncing Paul, Ray, and the others? That’s certainly possible. It doesn’t do any good though. Let’s say they do that. Then, their team salary is about $42M ($36M plus $6M for the MLE). Then you add in the rookie salary hold, the roster charges for having fewer than 12 players on the roster, and the team is at about $46M. They have $10M available under the cap. Their situation is exactly the same as if they had done things in the opposite order (renounced Pierce/Ray/etc. first), and just used $6M of their $16M cap space on one free agent. The midlevel exception guy stops being an exception to the salary cap as soon as the team goes below the cap; he just becomes one of the salaries that goes into determining the total team payroll.

  • Stephe

    I’m pretty ignorant about these things, are there any sign and trade options w RA that could be used for a team that could use an experienced shooter? Like Atlanta or Indiana?

  • Kiat-Jin Lee

    Jay P,

    dslack was right.

    According to Coon’s NBA Salary Cap FAQ, while the salary cap year commences on 1 July, ‘(i)f the team salary is below this level when the exception arises, then the team doesn’t get the exception. If the team salary ever drops below this level during the year, then any exceptions they had are lost’.

  • Blackberry33

    I would love Mike Miller and David Lee!

  • Kiat-Jin Lee

    Stephe,

    In theory, the answer is yes. But the contract would be governed by the CBA’s ruling on those who are over 36 during the tenure of their new contracts. Hence, only teams without the space to accommodate RA’s contract would be interested in a sign and trade, since there are no benefits for those significantly under the cap to do so.

  • Jay P

    Hmmm, ok, I think I see what you’re saying dslack.

    So either way, they use the MLE to sign someone while the cap holds are there, then if they happen to renounce, or sign both Paul and Ray to new contracts, lowering their cap holds, and they drop under the cap, the MLE they used, just becomes part of the cap, and their still only left with the remainder, and Vet minimums.

    So they only way they have any cap space is if they let both Paul and Ray walk, and then they’d have the 16.5 million to sign everyone else on their roster.

    Had to type that to work it out in my head, even though reading back, it’s the exact same thing Zach said in the article, haha.

    Phew, tough predicament Danny is in, I don’t envy his job right now.

  • K.J. Lee

    *Note for nit-pickers: The league’s collective bargaining agreement sets out salaries for first-round picks linked to their spot in the draft. Teams and draftees can negotiate salaries ranging from 80 to 120 percent of that set amount. For Bradley, I’ve used the set amount rather than a higher or lower amount in that 80 to 120 percent range.

    While truly nitpicking, most first round picks sign for 120 per cent of the set amount.

    2) Rasheed Wallace retires in a way that costs the Celtics $0 in their 2010 cap figure. (Note: This is unlikely, but let’s just assume it happens for the purposes of this exercise).

    As a footnote, the remainder of Rasheed’s signing bonus, if any, would count against our cap next season. In all likelihood, we would have to negotiate a buyout, probably about 40-5 per cent of Rasheed’s wages, for the other two years of the contract, unless we want him back in the future seasons. So, along with the signing bonus for next season, the settlement would count against our cap for the next season or even two.

    Simply, we are further away from cap space.

  • Perry

    Fine accounting work Zach. You’ve have the acumen necessary to run an evil corporation — assuming any corporations will be allowed to function beyond 2012. That will be the year Garnett’s salary comes off the books, where as dslack points out would be the spot to pivot and slam dunk the market. But if we’re going to speculate let’s use history as a baseline.

    1- Danny Ainge is in the business of winning titles.

    2- Thus far management has assumed the financial risks and backed his every move.

    3- We are slightly above the halfway mark of the Kevin Garnett era.

    I cannot see management throwing this in neutral, or worse yet in reverse, unless they plan to move Kevin, and I don’t see that in the cards. Chances are we’ll all be able to exhale later in the week when we find out what Pierce is up to. It would be no coincidence if we learn Doc’s fate as well. If both plan on staying then we’re looking at more of a cookie cutter approach to building the roster. Front load Ray, but don’t extend him past two years, sign TA, move Sheed’s contract for a big, make use of this year’s MLE, etc, etc. If that happens then management will likely be paying somewhere between $83 million and $88 million for their roster next season, and that’s pretty much inline with the last two years.

    But if Pierce does leave, and the Celts have 16m to spend it’d be wise to pursue a guy like Rudy Gay. Gay is restricted, and the Grizz are a small market team. I like dslack’s forward thinking. But have we glossed over the possibility of Pierce being traded? Or a sign and trade where Ray is concerned? There are some teams who might play along…

    Gay and Brewer are both restricted, and Randolph is unrestricted for the Grizz next year.

    The Hornets are being sold. Trading CP’s and Okafor’s contracts amount to $100m. Both are likely on the table.

    GS is dumping payroll and the combination of Biedrins and Ellis would almost match Pierce’s 21m.

    They also have a very interesting, restricted 2 guard in Anthony Morrow. I would make Mr. Morrow an offer before feeling out Mike Miller.

    …but, I hope Pierce, Ray, and Doc give it another go.

  • Zain

    Why are people so high on Ellis? He needs the ball to work, has pretty terrible shot selection, and is a volume performer. He’s far more likely to shoot you out of games than bring you back into one. Definitely not what this team needs.

  • http://CelticsHub.com Zach Lowe

    Any contract is movable when expiring. Depending on the C’s situation in 2012, KG’s deal will be a trade asset.

  • dslack

    @KJLee

    (1) It’s true that most rookies sign for 120%. But they only count against the cap at 100% until signed. So, the Celtics would have the cap space that Zach described, and then could still sign Bradley for 120% of the rookie scale amount after signing the big-name free agent. Not that this will happen.

    (2) There are no signing bonuses in the NBA. Signing bonuses are an NFL thing. The amount of the buyout would be prorated over the remainder of the contract. He he’s bought out for $3M, for instance, that counts as $1.5M per year for the next two years.

  • K.J. Lee

    dslack,

    Thank you for your reply.

    Actually, according to http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm#Q64, there are indeed signing bonuses in the NBA, up to 20 per cent of the total package.

    Initially, I was stunned regarding the preceding since unlike the NFL, most contracts are guaranteed in the NBA. It is no wonder that the specter of a lockout over the next CBA is looming larger than ever, especially in an economic depression.

  • Sophomore

    Great post Zach, and thanks to dslack for being a source of great cap info.

    The one place I’d disagree with dslack is that I expect I’d sign 2012 Durant to a max contract if I could get him. Plenty of time to worry about that later, though. :)

  • Cullen

    This is where trades and sign-and-trades come into play!

  • dslack

    @KJ,
    I’m sorry — you’re of course right that signing bonuses are allowed in the NBA, and my comment sounded like that was not the case. My point was just that signing bonuses are hardly ever used in NBA contracts, unlike in the NFL where they’re used all the time since they’re usually the only guaranteed part of a contract. I’m almost sure that Sheed does not have one. (I know you said “if any,” to cover this possibility. I just wanted to point out that there is, in fact, no signing bonus.)

    @Soph
    Yeah, I sounded like I wouldn’t want Carmelo or Durant. That wasn’t what I meant. I don’t think that either Carmelo or Durant will become unrestricted free agents. I think their teams will extend them before that. Among the rest of the 2012 FAs, I don’t see any I’d want to spend max money on.

  • Jay P

    @Sophomore

    Not that it really has any bearing, but Durant has already talked about wanting in extension in OKC before his contract is up, it doesn’t appear that he wants to hit the market, so it’s really a moot point.

  • Perry

    @Zach

    With a lock out looming next year Garnett’s contract could be viewed to some GM’s as expiring right now.

    The idea of Doc coming back in a way where he coaches games, but leaves practices and open dates to be with his family may be on the table. If that’s the case then Pierce, the captain, makes his sacrifice by restructuring his contract for security the way Dirk appears to be doing. Maybe the cap doesn’t change much, but management could save $$ on the luxury tax.

    Read between the tea leaves.

    The fact that Brad Miller is being discussed tells you they want to bring everyone back.

    Anyway you slice it this off season will feature unprecedented moves on and off the court.

  • http://theonlinesportsjournal.com Jake

    Terrific breakdown- thank you.

  • Cptn Bubbles

    Zach Lowe! He digs deep! We likey likey. If only Zach could tap Danny’s phone….

  • Rich

    To the guy suggesting the possibility of Pierce getting traded, no. Not when he controls what happens to him this off-season with the ability to opt out. It would be incredibly disrespectful for the team to discuss trading him, and I can’t imagine a scenario in which he let’s it happen.

    Like I said before, the best thing for the Celtics is for Pierce to opt in, and to re-sign Ray to a 1 year deal. Then, all of the cap space opens up at once when Pierce, Allen, and Garnett all come off the books in 2011. Getting your big name guy this year is 100% impossible.

  • K.J. Lee

    Dslack,

    Indeed. I am glad to hear that there is no signing bonus in Rasheed’s contract, which would reduce the amount charged to our cap.

  • cutrite

    I don’t have any real knowlege on the cap stuff but do know we are in need of a center next yr. Should I get it out of my head that Dirk can not even be thought of for our team?

  • dslack

    @cuttrite:
    Chances of Dirk being on the Celtics next year are practically nil.

  • Jeff

    I think Danny knows what he’s doing.

    Knowing what’s out there and who the targets will be early on in FA, he may be playing it smart by seeing how things play out.

    If they pursue Miller it would allow them more flexibility with the contract of Sheed to make a trade when lot’s of teams are out of the Lebronathon. A guy like Miller, who can contribute but is not going to be getting a lot of looks this offseason, may be a decent addition for the right price.

    Think about it, if Danny offers Miller a relatively low contract (Vet’s min or 2 mil out of the MLE) and other FA’s are getting swooped on, he may take it thinking that no one is going to offer him anything more than that, and wanting to get a chance at a ring. 2 years at the Min might be appealing for a guy who doesn’t have much time in the league left.

    It would also aleviate SOME of the need for a big because we would at least have one guy locked in at C for the start of the season. If Danny tries early with Miller for cheap it, and Miller takes it, it will allow him to make other pursuits an option.

    Haywood is the best option no question but other teams know that too and may overpay to get a legit 7? C to anchor there teams D.

    As for those who have commented on this blog that NO ONE is going to be willing to help the Conference champ rebuild by doing any favors, and they’ll have to do it themselves….100% WRONG.

    Look no further than the VC trade for Orlando. No one cares, unless they have a legit BEEF (ie; LA and C’s) about sending a player to another team if it benefits THEM! So yeah, Sheed and Davis to CHI for Deng is a real possibility, especially with Thibs there. He may have some good will for the C’s and have enough pull to get some more cap, and a player he knows in Davis or (hope not) Perk if the right deal was presented.

    Don’t under estimate this team or Danny. CLE did it, ORL did it and so did LA, and save for Perk being out, and some BS fouls in the 4th, banner 18 would be hanging in the Garden right now.

    In a couple weeks Danny could have Doc back PP resigned at less, Ray back, MIller, a backup 1, and 2 in Bradley getting one of the best players in the draft at 19, a possible suprise in Luke, a couple other vets min type guys and the MLE to go to 2 reliable backups along with a nice trade piece to send for Beas and O’Neal in a sign and trade (the total of the contracts sent back for Sheed can be up to $7.9 mil), Deng, Big Al, or maybe even something no one knows about right now.

    In two weeks Danny could have a lineup of

    PG – RR, Livingston, Bradley
    SG – Ray, TA, Bradley
    SF – PP, Beasley or Deng
    PF – KG, Davis, Beasley, J O’Neal, Harangody
    C – Miller, Ben Wallace, J O’Neal, Sehrmid (or whatever his name is)
    And still have the full MLE left to go after Haywood, Gooden, Gomes, Mike Miller, Outlaw, Hakim Warrick, Shaq and a whole bunch of others.

    The C’s have options…a lot more than people think. It wouldn’t be the first time anybody went to a team for cheap for a chance at a ring. Especially if the C’s are willing to give 2 yr deals for guys who might be worried about a lockout.

    Danny will get it done. You watch.

  • K.J. Lee

    Jeff,

    I am glad that you have so much confidence in our ability to reload on the run, presumably around Rondo. Another prominent Celtics commentator has expressed similar confidence in Ainge, albeit privately.

    Ever since he built a championship winning team by thinking outside the proverbial box, it would be foolhardy to bet against Ainge.

  • J Atlas

    @jeff i am absolutely intrigued at the possibility of that potential line up for the C’s the only issue i see beyond PP34 and Ray Ray’s contracts are that we could not get Deng with out using the MLE and whether we could trade Rasheed’s contract to MIA for Beasley(since MIA is clearing house) but i like the idea of shaun livingston being a back up point guard at 6’9″

  • Perry

    @Rich

    There is no way Ray Allen would agree to one year contract with the lock out looming next year. He turns 35 in July, so this will be his final chance to secure a multi year deal. Certainly it’s a long shot for a trade involving Pierce, but in this market wild things are about to happen so you must keep all options on the table. No one wants to see both players walking away without the Celtics getting something back in return.

  • UC

    Out of all the major free agents, Nowitzki would make the most sense to the Celtics. I’m obviously insane, but I have hopes for sign and trade involving him.

  • Jay P

    @KJ Lee

    “Ever since he built a championship winning team by thinking outside the proverbial box, it would be foolhardy to bet against Ainge.”

    Amen to that. Honestly, who saw those trades coming and what transpired afterwards? They were complete wild cards, straight outta left field.

    Ainge has earned a little leeway, and who knows what tricks he may have up his sleeve.

    In Danny We Trust.

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    @jeff: now that is some optimism. no way deng is coming to the Cs.

    @KJ: danny will prove his worth this summer. fingers crossed.

    @rich. i agree on the false pierce trade dreams – if restructures for less, hes not going to allow himself to be traded. if he gets more, he’ll do it as a FA. i think he could score a 3 year deal for about 40M as there are a lot of teams with cap space this year and he could at least head to the clips or knicks or someone if money is his motivator. if he wants another shot at a ring in boston, he either opts-in or leaves a boatload of cash on the table. but i can’t see him leaving something like 20M at risk this summer with all the capspace this year, the CBA next year, and his market value likely being much lower next year. he’d probably be happy if the Cs add 1 more year for big bucks….but as a fan, i question if that is wise for 2012.

    re: rayray, no way ray will take a 1 year deal unless its HUGE cash, it would have to equal what he could secure for a 2-3 year deal. which would work for the Cs as its ‘only’ luxury tax, and doesn’t affect the roster or future moves.

    it all comes down to pierce…..if he’s gone for nothing….time to clear the decks….

  • Tom

    Due to the possibility of a lockout next season, wouldn’t it be wise to go all in this year and take their one and only shot? Ray would probably want a 3 year deal, but Cs can offer him 2 @ a higher price (If they lock out next season, we start fresh the year after). If Pierce does opt out (I just don’t think he will), he will probably get 3-45M. After that, we are probably left with the garbage. We need a big guy (a real tall guy with the MLE), a swing man (probably TA as I dont think Daniels want to come back and there are nothing available) and another PG + a shooter at the 2. I don’t think they want to give Nate too much money, especially if we don’t have the Bird Rights on him

  • I love Green

    Our main needs:

    1. Good rebounding big man- MLE to JO
    2. Athletic swing man to run the break with Rondo-???
    3. Athletic PF who can run with Rondo and rebound well- Sheed for Beasley.

  • I love Green

    Oh and if we can find an athletic swing, and trade for Beasley we can have a mean small lineup if our offense stalls.
    Rondo
    TA
    Athletic swing
    Baby
    Beasley

    It’d be a fast break after every rebound.

  • I love Green

    OR

    Rondo
    Bradley
    TA
    Baby
    Beasley

  • K.J. Lee

    @Tom,

    ‘I don’t think they want to give Nate too much money, especially if we don’t have the Bird Rights on him’.

    As a non-Bird free agent, we could resign Nate Robinson up to 120 per cent of his last salary, for a maximum period of five years. Since his last wage was 5 million, we could resign Nate up to 6 million, a figure above the MLE, for the first year of his new contract.

    In any case, even without the drafting of Avery Bradley, I seriously doubt that Ainge would ever offer Nate, who is a role player, a new contract of 6 million in the first year, with raises of up to 8 per cent per annum over the next few years.

  • Chris O

    Why do we not have the Bird Rights to Nate Robinson as Bird Rights are traded with a player? Hasn’t he played at least 2 years (for early Bird) or three years under the same contract?

  • K.J. Lee

    @Chris O,

    Under the CBA, if a first round draft pick signs a one-year contract with his first team that is not an option year in his rookie contract and agrees to a trade with another team, he would forfeit his Bird’s rights. And hence the case of Nate Robinson after agreeing to the Knicks’ trade with us.

  • Shooter

    LOL…..well if you put it that way it looks like we might be in for one last run with PP and Ray after all.

  • Zain

    Any chance these guys realize its their last shot next year and retire next year championship or no?

  • Sophomore

    @Jeff – Pretty hard to see Chicago trading us Deng for Baby and Sheed.

    Think about the backcourt defense they’ll have if manage to put Deng, LBJ and Rose on the floor at the same time, with Thibs coaching them. That’s frightening. Interior D’s pretty good too if they get Bosh.

  • Derek H.

    This just enhances the fact that the c’s should try to trade for say Andre Iguadala. Iquadala, a great player but not one of the superstars that can carry a team solo. Him and Rondo could be a great 1 – 2 combo. The 76ers have been know around the league to shop him as long as the team is willing to take a bigger contract. Even if the Celtics would take one a big contract it would be worth it to bring a second YOUNG player to ball with Rondo for the next decade (ish). It is time for Ainge to make a move! He made a huge gamble three years ago and won a championship with that gamble, he almost one two. It is time to move one and take another educated chance.

  • I love Green

    @Derek- Andre’s contract with the new CBA coming up could be one of the worst in the league.

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    @derek, @ Green
    iggy, iggy, iggy. i’m a big fan. hoping he gets a shot on a contender some day. probably not going to happen in boston (sign and trade with pierce would be the only way) but would love to see him and rondo lockdown on D and fly out on the break. neither of them can shoot, so keep rayray at the 2 and let them play the 1 and 3.

    regarding iggy’s contract….i think its not any worse than what joe johnson and rudy gay will get this offseason and i’d put them in the same box…..great #2 guys on a contender, but will never do it as alpha dogs.

  • http://www.truecloud.com Dave

    Opponents have NO INTEREST in helping the defending Eastern Conference Champs improve their hand for next season by accomodating a litany of “sign and trade” scenarios targeted at sidestepping Boston’s cap woes!

    Time to make friends with reality!

    The last thing in the world the other GMs want is for Danny Ainge to sucker them into taking some over priced has been who’s got 1-2 seasons left, in exchange for players who will the C’s to keep competing for another year.

    If a team could add a 35 year old Ray Allen at the MLE for a maximum of a season or two, that would make sense for a few teams.

    But Ray will expect more than that and the only place he’s going to get more than that is from the Celtics.

    There’s no “sign and trade” opportunity there.

  • K.J. Lee

    @I love Green,

    In this instance, as a bad contract, Andre Iguadala would not cost much, except for matching salaries. Hey, we may even get a draft pick or two out of the 76ers!

  • K.J. Lee

    @Dave,

    ‘Opponents have NO INTEREST in helping the defending Eastern Conference Champs improve their hand for next season by accomodating a litany of “sign and trade” scenarios targeted at sidestepping Boston’s cap woes!’

    I disagree. For example, before the Draft, the Washington Wizards helped out the Chicago Bulls in the Le Bron sweepstakes. Through accepting the contract of Hinrich and a non-lottery pick, the Wizards have ensured that the Bulls have virtually two maximum salary slots for the potential signings of Le Bron plus perchance Chris Bosh, and in turn the dominance of the Bulls in the Eastern Conference for a decade.

    Simply, teams act out of self-interest. In addition, while we may be the defending conference champions, our counterparts in the conference regard the Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers, if Le Bron stays, Miami Heat, and the Chicago Bulls, if they sign Le Bron, as bigger threats, certainly in the long term. Furthermore, there are always the also-rans in the Western Conference to do business with.

  • Perry

    @Dave

    You may be interested to learn that Dallas is pursuing Joe Johnson in a sign and trade with Atlanta. When expiring contracts are on the table, or when teams realize they might lose a player and get nothing back in return, smart minds come together.

  • Shooter

    @Dave……..dude, teams are out for themselves they will make a trade if it helps them in anyway,first and foremost.

  • Perry

    @love – @K.J. Lee

    Agreed. It’s a bit of a misnomer, but as it stands, $18m for Ray Allen remains on the books. That’s a bad contract. Eddie Curry for sure is a bad contract.

    The tail end of Iguodala’s contract may be considered max money once the new cba is set in motion. Right now at $12m Iguodala is a bargain and a nice complement to Rondo. But only Pierce would suffice, and you would need Nocioni’s contract to make the dollars work. I doubt Pierce would be willing to go to a non-contender, and Collins seems to be drafting around Iggy…a smart move. He’s only 26.

  • I love Green

    Im not going to trade Pierce for Iggy. Im pretty sure he’s never made it out of the first round of the playoffs. Now if we resign Ray, and trade him and Sheed for Iggy I’d be overjoyed. Then we sign EDDDIIIEEEE!! for the veterans minimum to get back some 3s we’d be missing.

  • I love Green

    Oh but that is very very unlikely to happen. Although it is a delightful thought…

  • Shooter

    Yessir get Eddie House back here and Powe.I was pissed when they let Powe go.

  • K.J. Lee

    @Perry,

    For the new CBA, it is very likely that the NBA Commissioner would sanction some amnesty laws, as he did in 2005. In fact, the greater the changes, the greater the likelihood of these amnesty laws. Otherwise, why would the owners of profitable franchises like the Boston Celtics and LA Lakers ever agree to these changes if it would undermine their dominance on and off the court?

    I do not think that the NBA would ever introduce a hard cap similar to that of the NFL, as it would destroy many features of which Stern was himself the architect. In all likelihood, in the new CBA, the players’ mandated share of the revenue would drop from about three fifths to two fifths, with ramifications towards the salary and luxury caps. In addition, the maximum length of contracts would be shorter by a year or even two.

    But as I mentioned, it is very likely that NBA Commissioner would institute some amnesty provisos.

  • Perry

    @love

    Never said I’d trade Pierce. Just devised a way for the trade to work in terms of matching dollars.

  • Perry

    @K.J. Lee

    I agree with you on trimming the length of contracts and I would think annual increases in salaries would be trimmed as well. But the handwriting is on the wall with regards to the salary cap. It’s likely coming in at $56m this week – down from $57.7m. That’s a hellva a lot better than the $51m Stern was seeking. I would think teams will able to carry less personnel to compensate for a max contract.

    You could make an argument on behalf of liquidity, like in the case of Cuban who always seems to field a contending team. But then you have Dolan and the perennial losing Knicks. So I’m not sure where your going with the amnesty. Are you saying Stern will try to bleed the profitable franchises for the sake of the overall good?

    Basically the players are going to have to make salary concessions. I doubt they will be receptive. Here’s why. The NBA is a player driven league. The NFL is not. It’s brand revolves around fat cats like Lebron and Kobe. It’s hard to alter public opinion when it sees the brass jetting off to players’ homes or throwing them all night parties hosted by Jay-Z. Never have I seen this before in professional sports. not even from Steinbrenner.

  • Jay P

    Yes, sign Eddie, cause exactly what we need is an unathletic one dimensional shooter who can’t defend or do anything but run around screens and spot up.

    Besides where are you going to play him? At the 2 with Bradley? That’s the exact reason you wont see Bradley with Rondo on the court much, that back court can’t guard anyone.

    In situational games, where teams play a smaller 2, maybe, Bradley has the length to guard players slightly bigger than him, but there’s a limit to that.

    Either way, it makes no sense for them, there’s too many match up problems with Eddie/Bradley or Eddie/Rondo out there.

  • TBall

    Not sure if someone mentioned this, but your $16.5m is off. That is the maximum you could use to sign one player. You would have $20m to sign 8 players. You set aside the $3.5m to sign 8 veteran minimums and then didn’t include it in the available money.

  • Bill C

    I don’t understand why the Celtics would have these “Cap Holds” for their players who are free agents but other teams seemingly don’t. Does anyone know why the Celtics seem so handcuffed with just 5 guys on salary for 2011?

  • Celticjay

    The ball is in Pierce’s court – after all he chose to opt-out. If his ultimate goal is to win another ring (as he always says)…. then the only teams with real cap space would not be on his list – because they are still years from contending (Knicks, Nets, Clippers, Heat, Bulls) – even if they get Lebron and/or Bosh. Noe of these teams have big men to control the front of the rim like the Celtics do in Perkins & KG.

    Pierce only has 2 or 3 years left in his tank and NO other team is going to spend $65 Million on him. The only exception might be Cleveland if Lebron bolts but they have to renounce Shaq’s Bird Rghts ($20 Mil).

    Ray Allen is in a similar situation. If they want one more 3 yr contract, without taking serious pay cuts they should stay with the Celtics. Because of the Cap Holds their agents know the Celtics are strapped and can’t really negotiate, but the Celts have time on their hands and are the only team who can go over the Cap to re-sign them without luxury tax penalty.

    As the big-name free agents get signed, the market value on Paul & Ray decreases. If Doc leaves and the Celtics decide to try & rebuild, look for Danny to try & work a sign & trade.

    As a die-hard Celts fan I want these guys to retire in Green, but if they get greedy and want to cripple the team financially for years, let them find suitors elsewhere.

  • Pete

    Paul can go to a contender for 50 over 3 IMHO. Paul’s agent can go after those teams that can offer 1.75 “Max” players.

    So he could follow Lebron to the Bulls or Bosh to Miami for example..

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