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I'm not a fan of the acquisition of Evan Turner, but I have been patiently waiting to hear the terms of his contract before deciding if I hate the signing, or simply dislike it. The bigger question is how long the deal is as opposed to how much he'll make this season (there have been hints that it is for two years, but only hints, and we have no idea if that second year is guaranteed, a player option, or a team option), as I'd much rather it be for more money in 2014-15 with nothing guaranteed in 2015-16, than for a little less in 2014-15 with a second guaranteed year. Flexibility next summer is key, and I would rather not eat into the cap space the Celtics should have come 2015.

Yet here we are, a full three weeks after the signing was reported, and we know nothing about the terms. Both sides have admitted there is an agreement, but we've had 21 days of radio silence about what the contract looks like (although we do know his salary will be less than $5.3 million per year, which is the mid-level exception).

So my question is: why hasn't the deal been inked?

The common theory is that the Celtics are waiting to see if they make any more deals this summer before signing Turner, but that makes no sense to me.

Think about it: If the contract has been finalized, Turner is signing it no matter what the Celts do with the rest of their roster. That means that money is on the books whether or not they can move anyone else. It's not like they have a back-out clause if they're unable to move guys like Brandon Bass and/or Jeff Green.

And it's not as though the luxury tax will come into play either. The tax is not computed until January 10th, so even if the Celts temporarily went over it during the summer, it would mean nothing. And considering they are $5.1 million below it without Turner, it's very unlikely that the signing will put them over the top anyways (remember, Turner's deal is for "a portion" of the mid-level. It's hard to imagine that portion is 96% of the $5.3 million MLE).

Again, unless the agreement has an out clause if Boston can't shed additional players, there is no reason that their roster should be delaying his signing.

So what else could it be?

One possibility is that the Celtics and Pacers are keeping the door open for this to be a sign-and-trade. Maybe Danny Ainge is trying to talk Larry Bird into taking Bass back in return (Bass is an upgrade over Luis Scola, but now that Indy isn't a title contender, that may be out the window), or maybe with Paul George's injury there's some shot of Indy adding in another small salary (Chris Copeland or Scola's partially guaranteed deal) for Green. I'm not sure exactly what the deal could be, but it makes way more sense to me that there are ongoing talks between the longtime friends than it does that the Celtics are trying to "maintain flexibility". Holding off on signing Turner does nothing to maintain flexibility if the deal has been agreed to and is being signed eventually.

I have no inside information that points towards a S&T being worked on..but the whole "waiting until more roster moves are made" theory doesn't hold any water. There is no reason why Turner shouldn't already be signed, sealed and delivered unless there is at least a possibility of a deal being worked on between Boston and Indy. Of course that doesn't mean that it's a lock something is worked out, but why not keep the window open as long as possible to see if something can get done? It doesn't hurt either team, as neither is forced to do a deal that they don't like. And it doesn't hurt Turner, who knows he's getting his money either way. Keep the window open, and there may just be something that is beneficial to all parties.

Either that or I'm over thinking this and grasping at straws during the absolute dog days of the NBA calendar.


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Michael Dyer 8/11/2014 01:34:00 PM Edit
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