Sheed’s retirement, Pierce’s option, and my stab at cap-ology | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Sheed’s retirement, Pierce’s option, and my stab at cap-ology

UPDATE:  I'm a complete moron.  Here's the deal:  There are these things called cap holds… which essentially tie up cap space until you re-sign whomever you may be re-signing with bird rights.  So the Celtics, no matter how much we like to slice and dice this… are over the cap.  It's my own fault for falling into the trap of trying to figure out cap space.  Simply put:  Unless the Celtics flat out renounce the rights to almost everyone, they're going to be over the cap.

So disregard everything in this post.  I'll leave it up so smarter people can make fun of me.  The lesson here is simple:  If you don't know what the hell you're talking about… don't talk about it.   I'll leave the cap shit to someone else from now on.

So… Rasheed Wallace is going to quit.  Assuming that he flat-out retires and the C's don't pull some kind of trade with his impending cap space… here's one scenario for the C's:

Somehow, some way, the Celtics will make it so Sheed's money is off the books this coming season.  We're all getting caught up on whether it needs to be a buyout or if the money just leaves the ledger… but that doesn't matter.  The Celtics will make sure it happens.

Removing Sheed's $6.3 million from the books puts the C's right around $57 million.  The league recently projected the salary cap to be $56.1 million… so the C's would be slightly over.  That would mean the C's have Paul Pierce, KG, Perk, Rajon, and Big Baby under contract.  You also have to add Avery Bradley, who will make a little under $1.2 million.  So let's just use $58 million as a round number.

Hold that thought.

Paul Pierce's contract includes a PLAYER OPTION for this year.  This is a big difference from what other guys are doing when they opt-out (an early termination option, or ETO).  An opt-out means you are leaving your contract.  In that case, you're a free agent, off the books, you're just like any other free agent that will count fully against the cap.

Paul Pierce can decline his option and still be extended, giving the Celtics full Bird rights to exceed the cap if they need to.  But if he had 2 years left and he exercised an ETO, he'd be like any other free agent.

So… let's play a salary cap game.

The mid-level exception is in the high $5 million range.  If the C's stay over the cap, they get that money that they can offer to free agents.  They gave it all to Sheed this past season, but teams can split it up.


Let's say the Celtics can negotiate a deal with Pierce where he declines  the $21 million option.  If his starting salary this year was $12 million rather than $21 million… they could do a 3 year deal where his salaries are $12 mil, $13.26 mil and then $14.6 mil (because the maximum raise is 10.5%).  Just think of it as 3 years, $40 million because that's what it works out to be.

If Pierce made $12 million this year, the C's payroll would be $47 million, rather than $58 million… giving them $9 million to play with rather than the almost $6 million in MLE.

(deep breath)

You got that?  I hope so… because I'm still not 100% sure I've got his right.  But after reading through the particulars, this is my best interpretation of how this whole thing can go down.

So to summarize:  The Celtics will find a way to get Sheed's money to go away for the 2010-11 season.  IF they can negotiate a 3-year, $40 million deal with Pierce where he declines this year's option, the net effect will be the Celtics having $9 million to play with rather than $6 million.  After that, they're still stuck with offering minimum wage contracts and Bird-rights to fill out their roster… but they were there anyway.

That's my best shot.  If anyone knows better, please let me know in the comments.

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  • Mike

    Under the Pierce renegotiation arrangement, why wouldn’t we have the $9M savings on Pierce plus the $6M MLE giving us $15M to spend?

  • Filipe

    You forget cap holds. There’s 476k counted for every roster spot open until 12. So if we have 6 guys under contract there’s an extra 2.7m in cap holds.

  • The MLE is only for teams over the cap. If the C’s get themselves that far under the cap, that goes away.
    The MLE was given to teams over the cap to give them a way to add to their team even when they’re out of cap space. Of course, the trade-off is the luxury tax.

  • gah… this shit is way too complicated.

  • Shawn-cvd

    RA- say your correct…could the C’s grab $9M worth of player(s) then have the MLE because we’d then be over cap? If not C’s should trade Sheed’s retiring contract to be this years MLE should PP renegotiate. [Edit : getting Sheed off books is required to get to $9M under. This means Sheed’s contract should be moved if PP takes his final year].
    As for that cap holds as each new player comes in doesn’t that relieve each hold so that 2.7 is liquid?

  • Double P Reppin the B

    It’s pretty simple guys. This might not be great but it’s the truth. We are pretty much screwed money wise this season. We are over the cap with only 6 (maybe 5) players signed. We have to fill the roster out with our draft picks and splitting the MLE.
    We can really only hope that Paul Pierce opts out of his contract and then we would have money to pursue either resigning him or going after another player. We are pretty jaded because of how loyal pierce has been to the organization so we don’t want to not sign him but if we are in any way going to get younger we need to pursue other options not Paul Pierce IF he opts out. If he doesnt, we don’t really have any money other than resigning Ray Allen and going with this same team again but with MUCH LESS of a bench and an injured starting Center. Next season does NOT look good

  • Double P Reppin the B

    Although if Pierce opts out we would have the ability to renounce his bird rights and pursue a max contract player on the open market. That is the ONLY scenario and it involves parting ways with our captain. Of course we could renounce Rays bird rights and negotiate a lower contract with Paul and maybe another free agent for less but it’s going to be very hard to get anyone new to this team, unless we part with Paul

  • Double P Reppin the B

    It comes down to either a sign and trade with Ray Allen or losing Paul Pierce as the only possible ways of brining in another high profile player to pair with Rondo for the future

  • its gonna be a big lost for them if it happens. anyway early retirement is really is nice.
    Boston is my team.