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Where the Celtics stand now that Bass is returning

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) July 5, 2012 Brandon Bass, Free Agency 9 Comments

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.

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  • Lee in Oregon

    Trying to decide whether they should do a sign and trade with Miami or let him walk and make 3 only 3 mill. Ray is notoriously cheap, this we know. There’s a couple guys on that roster I wouldn’t mind having, but if Ray’s gonna go play for the Heat, they oughta make him do it for cheap.

  • Astarot

    I think Green would take 7 mln yr. Ray will sign for 6 mln yr. So 3 slots left with 6 mln. They can match Stiemsma and maybe sing Pietrus. One slot with some money in the pocket left for some moves in the middle of the season.

    • sev

      thatd be great if he signed for 7(I’m sure they will try to convince him that they can bring in more talent if he takes a little less), but I be it will be like 8 million, which is still better than 9 or 10. I’m down with MP and Stiemsma, and i got a feeling if they have nothing but the vet min after that, that they will get wilcox for the Vets Min. He is not proven healthy, and even when the celtics signed him prior to his heart condition, they only gave him the mini mid level(3 mil) and some even felt at that time he could have been had for vet. He may realize that declining an xtra mil(assuming some team will pay him more than vet min) mil to play for the Celtics for one year will turn into a multi year contract form another team after the season(or maybe the Celtics if he plays great). I just know that he knows playing with Rondo helped his game, and playing in that locker room with Doc and the Vets, made him play harder. I think he embraced being a celtic and was just starting to play some of the best ball of his career. I remember several back to back games with 10+rebounds, Players want their point guard to be Rondo, and they want to play in Docs system, where HOF have no problem dishing the ball if your open.

  • CoachAJ

    At your count we have 12 players including Ray Allen, leaving three roster spots open. Pietrus should be resigned. That fall in Philly scared the helloutta the dude and changed the way he plays. He should be fine next season. Moore or Dooling at 3rd string PG. And Steimsma or Wilcox at 2nd string C.

  • zippittyay

    Excellent and informative article. Is there the possibility of a Sign & Trade with Miami where we could get someone like Battier?

    CelticsBlog ‏@celticsblog
    IF Ray Allen picks Miami and we are forced to pick between getting nothing or doing a S&T, who would you want Jones, Battier, or Anthony?

    • Alex

      I would go for Battier, hands down. The guy is a great defender and he can nail the 3.

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  • MJ

    If Ray does leave, I’m seeing a sign-and-trade for Nick Young in the works.

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