Why all of Boston's future picks matter: the salary cap is set to explode while rookie salaries stay the same

Just in case you were unaware, the salary cap is set to make a huge increase in 2016-17 thanks to a new TV deal for the league. Why this matters for the Celtics is because the rookie scale contracts won't be impacted by the salary cap.

So this means, for at least one year and maybe three years, rookies are going to be incredibly cheap with a ginormous salary cap. Teams will be able to bring in young, super cheap talent to play along side all the superstars they will be able to sign to massive deals.

This puts Danny Ainge in the catbird seat. He's got picks on picks on picks to use either as cheap prospects or trade chips for established talent. Essentially, it means all of Boston's picks just got that much more valuable.

And here's a reminder of what Boston has for future picks, assuming the protections hold:

2015 draft
1st round: Boston and Clippers
2nd round: Boston, Philadelphia and Washington

2016 draft
1st round: Boston, Brooklyn, Minnesota and Dallas
2nd round: Philadelphia, Miami, Cleveland and Dallas

2017 draft
1st round: Boston or Brooklyn (whichever is better) and Memphis
2nd round: Boston or Brooklyn (whichever is worse), Cleveland and Clippers

2018 draft
1st round: Boston and Brooklyn
2nd round: Boston

So as you can see, Boston should have four first-round picks right when the salary cap goes nuts. It can't be stressed enough just how valuable those picks will be. For those asking "what's with all the picks," here's your answer. And Ainge has already shown what those picks could possibly bring back, snagging Isaiah Thomas, aka the best Celtic ever in his first handful of games in green, and his amazing team-friendly contract for a first-round pick that likely won't be that great.

This team is set to make serious strides in the next couple of years. Be that player development, trades or free agents. The sky is the limit. All hail Ainge.

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