I know both sides haven't really come close to a final agreement, but there actually has been some progress in these NBA negotiations. Among the new elements of this deal are an amnesty clause, and a new "stretch" exception.
There will be a one-time “amnesty” provision that will allow each team to waive a player (with pay) without his salary counting against the salary cap.
There will be a “stretch” exception, available every year, allowing teams to waive players and stretch out their remaining salary over a number of seasons, thus reducing the annual salary-cap hit.
I touched on the amnesty thing a bit when I railed against Bill Simmons last month. The Celtics just don't have enough players on the roster to start cutting people, amnesty or not. I'm also pretty sure a provision of the amnesty clause will be the inability to re-sign your own player.
So I don't think the Celtics can cut Paul Pierce, pay him all the money he is due to get him off the books, and then sign him to a minimum deal. If that WAS allowed, he would not only gets the $61 million he's due, but an extra few million in the minimum wage. I suppose we'll have to wait and see on that, but I highly doubt that will be allowed.
As for the "stretch exception", there's no one to use that on either right now As I wrote on Crossover Chronicles (first link in the post), Orlando will benefit the most from these provisions because they can cut Gilbert Arenas and use the stretch on Hedo Turkoglu and get under the cap.
The Celtics, though, have no such horribly bloated contract. KG's $21-plus million is the last year of his mega-deal. Ray Allen is in the last year of his contract. Only Pierce and Rondo are signed long-term and Rondo's a steal at $55 million over the next four seasons.
It's possible Danny could use the stretch on Paul Pierce in the next year or two, but I doubt it. The C's will have plenty of cap space to work with and that move wouldn't be necessary. So while some progress was made in talks before they broke down, they won't help the Celtics much. The only thing that will affect them is a reduced mid-level exception (which goes from $5.8 million to $5 million). But even that has minimal impact. A mid-level player is a mid-level player and that $800,000 won't really make much difference.
So we sit and wait for news. Hopefully these guys are on the phone soon and back in front of each other next week.