With the announced contract agreement with Brandon Bass, it’s time to look at the Celtics roster and see where we are and what’s left to spend.
If you missed my big financial breakdown of the C’s this offseason, go ahead and check that out now, because that’s what we’ll be working with numbers wise. There’s one addendum to it now that Jason Terry is going to be signed with the full, non-taxpayer MLE.
The Celtics are now basically working with a $74 million hard cap. That will be the luxury tax threshold and since the C’s have operated as if they wouldn’t be taxpayers, they need to NOT be taxpayers. So for now, just treat $74 million like it’s a hard cap and we can move on.
First, the committed players:
- Kevin Garnett (approximately $11 million)
- Paul Pierce (approx. $17 mil)
- Rajon Rondo ($11 mil)
- Avery Bradley ($1.6 mil)
- JaJuan Johnson (approx. $1.1 mil)
- Jared Sullinger (approx $1.3 mil)
- Fab Melo (approx $1.3 mil)
- Kris Joseph (approx $500k)
- Jason Terry ($5 mil)
- Brandon Bass (approx $6.2 mil)
That’s 10 players and a payroll of about $54.7 million.
Jeff Green is almost assured to be signed: Let’s pencil him in at the $9 million he was going to get last year but hope it’ll be less. That gives us 11 players at about $63.7 million.
The roster would then currently be:
Guards: Rondo, Bradley, Terry
Wings: Pierce, Green, Joseph
Bigs: Garnett, Bass, Sullinger, Melo, Johnson
The Celtics have $10 million dollars left and the bi-annual exception ($2 million a year for contracts up to 2 years that can go to one player, or be divided among multiple players).
Now we’re heading down one of two roads:
IF THEY SIGN RAY ALLEN:
Ray has a reported $6 million on the table from the Celtics. If they sign him, the roster will stand at 12 with $69.7 million committed in salary.
The Celtics would then basically have $4 million left for 3 roster spots. Chances are we’d be looking at potentially Mickael Pietrus, Chris Wilcox, or some other minimum (or nearly minimum) wage player to fill a wing slot and a big. There is the potential to match Greg Stiemsma (a restricted free agent) if the deal isn’t exorbitant, but that becomes less likely. The Celtics will likely want to keep some room open for a late-season addition if they need one.
IF THEY DON’T SIGN RAY ALLEN:
Since the Celtics have Bird Rights on Ray Allen, they can offer him the $6 million. But that doesn’t mean they have $6 million to spend on anyone. If he walks without any sort of sign-and-trade deal, the Celtics will still only have the bi-annual exception and minimum wage deals to fill spots.
So if Ray just walks, the Celtics will still be at $64 million and they’d have four open spots.
E’Twaun Moore’s $762,195 contract for this year is un-guaranteed. According to ShamSports.com, Moore’s contract become fully guaranteed if he remains on the roster after midnight of the final summer league game. That’s Sunday, July 22. I’ll take the liberty of assuming that if Ray goes and Moore is playing well, the Celtics will simply retain him.
Let’s round up and say $64.8 million with three open spots left.
Now there’s some breathing room. The Celtics can match a Stiemsma offer (within some reason) and still comfortably use either the bi-annual exception or minimum wage deals to fill the rest of the roster. Keep in mind, the Celtics are under no deadline to use the bi-annual exception, nor are they under any obligation to use it either. They can pocket it to throw at a free agent in the middle of the season, or not use it at all and save it for next year if they so choose. The risk of saving it, though, would be the possibility of losing it should you be crossing into the luxury tax next season. You can’t use the bi-annual exception if you’re a tax payer.
Of course, remember, Jeff Green’s $9 million is assumed. If they go higher, it’ll make things tighter. If they go lower, it’ll add some breathing room.
So there it is. The Celtics have room to sign Ray Allen. They can also pull a sign-and-trade with him if they so choose. But either of those options makes things a bit tight. Letting Ray Allen go would give the Celtics some more breathing room this year, and into the future, in regards to the luxury tax.