(Image courtesy: Bleacher Report)
Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
In return, the Celtics will acquire valuable draft picks and millions of dollars in payroll flexibility to begin their rebuilding process. Earlier in the week, Ainge acquired the Los Angeles Clippers‘ 2015 pick in return for releasing Doc Rivers from his coaching contract.
That was enough to make the Celtics one of draft night’s biggest winners. The Garnett-Pierce trade, which also will send Jason Terry to the Nets, will land the Celtics three first-round picks (2014, ’16 and ’18) and the right to swap first-round picks with the Nets in 2017 – along with Gerald Wallace, Kris Joseph and the expiring deal of Kris Humphries.
Boston now has two first-round picks, including its own, in a stellar 2014 draft that will possibly be led by coveted Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins.
Teams don’t rebuild with this sort of payroll, though. The Celtics will still be way over the cap next season, and the team enters the 2014 offseason right at the salary cap level due to Wallace’s massive deal (three years, and $33 million after 2012-13), with restricted free agent Avery Bradley ready to hit a market that will have scads of teams working with cap space, and several roster spots left to fill.
Real cap relief, the hallmark for any rebuilding team, won’t really set in until the 2015 offseason. And that’s when Rajon Rondo, sick of it all, could flee as a free agent. By the way, Gerald Wallace will still be on the books (two full years after the Chicago Bulls basically ignored him on offense during Brooklyn’s first round loss earlier this year) for over $10.1 million.
The reward for all this cash, and all this patience? Most likely four of the Nets’ upcoming five first round picks.
Let’s save the emotional goodbyes to Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett for another time and get right to the numbers. The Celtics save about $7 million with this deal. While it doesn’t give them any flexibility to sign big name free agents, it does keep them away from the painful luxury tax.
If you believe Marc Spears, the Celtics came away big winners with this deal. The new CBA puts a premium on 1st round draft picks and Danny Ainge possesses 9 first rounders over the next five years. He’s not drafting 9 players. So consider those picks valuable trade assets.
Dwyer isn’t buying the optimism, but he’s viewing this deal through the lens of salary cap relief. Yes, Gerald Wallace’s game has devolved rapidly and it comes with a hefty contract. But might the Celtics consider using the stretch exception in his case? It would allow them to cut Wallace and spread the money owed over 7 years. They’d be paying $4+ million. It’s a salary cap escape shaft for Ainge if he has the opportunity to acquire an impact player.
My first reaction to this trade was – Is this really the best offer out there? Could Ainge have gotten a better return if he traded PP and KG separately? While we heard rumors of a sweet deal that involved shipping Pierce to Cleveland for 2nd round picks and a valuable trade exception it’s possible that deal never existed. So we shouldn’t compare this to any rumored deals.
I hate to say this, but we’ll have to wait and see what Ainge does with the assets before issuing final judgement.
For those frightened by the thought of Kris Humphries in a Celtics uniform, SI’s Chris Mannix tweeted:
Keep an eye on Charlotte as a possible landing spot for Kris Humphries. Rival execs skeptical he stays in Boston.
One possible reason for the haste in completing this deal now: Each team now has until July 10 to work out subsequent trades to flip a guy.
As for the draft, it appears Kelly Olynyk is excited:
What impact will Olynyk make on this team? Danny Ainge has the answer:
“Kelly was a guy we think complements [Rajon] Rondo and Avery [Bradley] and Jeff [Green],” Ainge said. “He’s just a really good complementary player. He’s not a go-to guy. He’s not a star player. He’s a really good teammate-type of player for those other guys.”
Yikes. Give him credit for setting expectations.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston – End of era in Boston | C’s buy 2nd round pick: Colton Iverson | C’s/Nets agree on blockbuster | CSNNE – Source: KG to waive no trade clause | Marshall: Have to make Rondo happy now | The Legacy of Paul Pierce | C’s trade up to take Olynyk | C’s reportedly sign Phil Pressey | Herald – Ainge won’t let Celtics grow old | Rivers sees deal as win-win | C’s move up to grab Olynyk | WEEI – Ainge deconstructs Celtics | NY Daily News – Brooklyn Blockbuster | SB Nation: Celtics finally blow it up