David Lee is not a Celtic. Jae Crowder is not a Celtic. Terry Rozier and RJ Hunter are kind of Celtics, but not yet officially signed. Of course, this will all change soon. Very soon actually, with a report that Hunter will be signed by early next week, and the Lee trade becoming official on Monday. The Celtics have gone so far as to call a press conference to announce "off-season additions" for Monday afternoon.
But until then, the Celtics remain in a position to spend money. How so you ask? Check out the up to the minute salary situation, with the Lee trade and Crowder signing yet to go through.
Celtics current salary situation
As you can see, our boy Gerald Wallace is still on the roster (technically), and Crowder's cap hit is a paltry $1.18 million until he officially signs on the dotted line and that number jumps up to around $6.1 million. This also includes the "rookie scale" qualifying offers for Rozier and Hunter, who will both get slightly higher salaries than what's listed. It also includes an approximation for Jordan Mickey's first year salary, but that number should be very close to what he's actually going to get.
So the Celtics have around $5.7 million in cap space until Lee, Crowder and the rookies are all in town, when they will jump to about $5 million over the cap.
Celtics salary situation after signings/Lee trade
But for now, the Cs have enough money to make a fairly significant move. A free agent signing seems extremely unlikely, as the Celtics already have 16 players under guaranteed contracts for next year. Bringing in a 17th would just add to the roster gluttony already in place.
But what about a trade? The Celtics could take back $5.7 million more than they give up in any deal they pull off. They could also offer up multiple players for one, helping alleviate the roster crunch while hopefully bringing in someone with legitimate talent.
One such possibility was Danilo Gallinari until Galo re-upped with the Nuggets last week. But what about Gallinari's teammate, Kenneth Faried?
Faried could be the next domino to fall in Denver, as he is still owed about $50 million over the next four seasons, starting with next year's $11.2 million salary.
Because of the Celtics' $5.7 million in space, they'd only have to send out about $5.5 million in money to get a deal done. Something like Evan Turner and Jared Sullinger would work. The Cs could also include Kelly Olynyk or James Young if they wanted to, approaching the Nuggets with a "pick 3 of these 4" type proposal.
This would allow Denver to pick up several young, cost controlled players, shed Faried's deal, and move forward in their rebuild. The Celtics could also include a first round pick if necessary.
The Cs would pick up a 25-year-old with career averages of 12.2 points and 8.7 boards per game. A guy who plays relentlessly hard and runs the floor as well as just about any big man in the game, and someone who they'd have for four seasons at a reasonable price as the cap explodes.
They could also go from 16 players down to 14, opening up a spot for someone like Jonathan Holmes or another cap invite.
Of course, Faried is just one name I thought of. The Celtics could offer up a similar trade to any other team in the league for [insert a good but semi-expensive player here]. The problem is, there aren't a ton of teams looking to get rid of good players around the league, and Danny Ainge doesn't have a lot of time to pull this off.
While it's a long-shot, it's something worth watching over the weekend, as the Celtics could both improve and alleviate the roster crunch in one fell swoop if the right deal comes around. I have no doubt the Celtics have waited on the Lee deal and the Crowder signing as they scour the league looking for a deal like this, the question is: can they pull it off in time?
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For more of my articles, click here Michael Dyer 7/23/2015 03:30:00 PM Tweet Edit