When thinking of Celtics flexibility, don't forget they have a $10.7M trade exception from #Nets trade. Runs out 7/12.— NetsDaily.com (@NetsDaily) May 19, 2014
I nearly forgot about this. That's a huge, huge, huge chip. If the Celtics do indeed make a run at Kevin Love, the big question isn't what does Danny Ainge have to give up to get him, it's what do the Celtics need to get in order to keep him?
Similar to the Garnett deal, the right pieces need to be in place. Between the 17 draft picks, young talent, and $10.7M trade exception, the Celtics front office could pick out a 2014 version of Ray Allen to secure his services beyond Summer '15 and put together another Big Three- Love, Rondo, and a Player to be Named Later.
The ins-and-outs of the Trade Exception are tricky. Below is the wikipedia explanation.
If a team trades away a player with a higher salary than the player they acquire in return (the deal hereafter referred to as "Trade #1"), they receive a Traded Player Exception, also known as a "Trade Exception". Teams with a trade exception have up to a year in which they can acquire more salary in other trades (Trade #2, #3, etc.) than they send away, as long as the gulf in salaries for Trade #2, #3, etc. are less than or equal to the difference in salary for Trade #1.
This exception is particularly useful when teams trade draft picks directly for a player; since draft picks have no salary value, often the only way to get salaries to match is to use a trade exception, which allows trades to be made despite unbalanced salaries. It is also useful to compensate teams for losing free agents, as they can do a sign and trade of that free agent to acquire a trade exception that can be used later. Note this exception is for single player trades only, though additional cash and draft picks can be part of the trade.
Can you feel it? The winds up change are blowing, Celtics fans. Batten down the hatches.