Last year, Keith Bogans was one of the highest paid bench warmers in the NBA, earning $5 million dollars for the season to sit on the end of the Celtics’ bench. C’s fans should harbor no ill will towards him for this. His agreement to a sign-and-trade deal enabled the Celtics to go through with the blockbuster deal involving Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett that helped them land three first round picks.
Nearly eight months after being sent home by Danny Ainge in the middle of the season, Bogans is still somewhat surprisingly on the roster. What do the Celtics plan on doing with the veteran swingman? I explored the likely possibilities in a column for CBS Boston:
Even though Ainge sent Bogans away from the team, he was still kept on the roster for one distinct reason: the former Kentucky star was signed to a three-year deal last summer, but the final two years on the deal were fully non-guaranteed. Thanks to those terms, starting on July 1st (the start of the NBA calendar) Bogans became a $5.3 million trade chip for Boston.
In essence, Bogans could be used in any deal as salary filler/relief, allowing any potential new team to waive him at no cost to their salary cap once Boston traded him away.
This provision in Bogans’ deal led many to believe that the shooting guard would be shipped out of town during the summer of 2014, but here we are in August and no move has been made. To further complicate matters, the Celtics have quite the logjam going on with their roster right now. The team has yet to officially sign Turner since they have 20 players under contract right now, the maximum for a team entering training camp.
Someone has to go to make the numbers work, and it’s all but a certainty the team won’t be able to afford having Bogans take up a spot on the 15-man roster once the season begins. Ownership isn’t going to pay him $5.3 million this year when they don’t have to.
With training camp approaching in the next few weeks, something has to give. The team could take care of the problem right away by flat out cutting Bogans, but then they lose the possibility they could use Bogans non-guaranteed money in a trade.
The wiser bet is that the team holds onto the guard for a little while longer, hoping they can find some kind of deal during the NBA preseason that allows them to gain at least a trade exception. He could also be packaged with another veteran as part of a larger deal.
Either way, it’s a situation worth watching over the next few weeks, as Bogans will likely be the next domino to fall in a quiet Celtics offseason.
You can check out the full piece over at CBS Boston: