Interesting note by ESPN Boston's Chris Forsberg in his column from yesterday, where he notes that undrafted point guard Phil Pressey's $490,180 salary is fully guaranteed for 2013-14.
As Forsberg notes it is a bit unusual for an undrafted free agent to pick up a fully guaranteed contract, but the Celtics must have felt strongly enough about Pressey's game that they locked him in for the entirety of this upcoming season. Great news for Pressey, not so great news for Shavlik Randolph.
The reason this could impact Shav is that the Celtics have until Wednesday to waive him or his $1,106,942 salary becomes fully guaranteed. If they cut him by then, he gets nothing. With Pressey now virtually guaranteed a roster spot, the Celtics currently have 15 players under guaranteed deals for 2013-14, which of course is a full NBA roster. The Celtics have also risen even further above the luxury tax line, as they currently have $72,531,029 in salary while the tax line is set at $71.7 million. This means that if the team decides to keep Randolph they will rise to $2 million over the tax line, forcing themselves to cut even more money to assure that they avoid repeater penalties this year.
However, the C's may decide that they can get under the tax later and take a chance on Randolph. After all he did prove himself to be a fantastic rebounding and energy guy in his limited time last season. But even if Shav can avoid the guillotine next week, it will eventually fall on someone. If they pick up Randolph's option after guaranteeing Pressey's deal the Celtics roster would rise to 16 players (not to mention the salary situation). Meaning someone else would need to go.
While names like Fab Melo and Jordan Crawford have been the most popular proposals, Fab's money ($1,311,240) would not be enough to clear the tax line if Randolph is retained, even if another team agreed to take him without giving the Celtics any salary back in return. Crawford on the other hand would clear just enough money ($2,162,419) to put Boston below the tax, but the Celtics would be so close to the line that adding anyone mid-season, even a 10-day contract, would be extremely difficult. It's unknown whether Ainge would be ok with the team sitting so close to the tax line and the repeater penalties that go with it.
So long story short, someone is getting the axe. But for now, here's where the Celtics roster stands as of July 27th.
Updated Celtics depth chart:
PG Rajon Rondo, Phil Pressey
SG Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee, MarShon Brooks, Jordan Crawford, Keith Bogans
SF Jeff Green, Gerald Wallace
PF Jared Sullinger, Brandon Bass, Kris Humphries, *Shavlik Randolph
C Kelly Olynyk, Vitor Faverani, Fab Melo
* = non-guaranteed deal
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The Celtics have too many players, who's next to go? Michael Dyer 7/27/2013 12:54:00 PM Tweet