The Player: Avery Bradley
The Team: Boston Celtics
The Contract: 4 years, $32 million
How does it affect the cap situation?
Via Sham Sports, Boston has roughly $64.1 million tied up in salaries and cap holds for next season after taking Bradley’s new deal into consideration. Among other things, this includes the anticipated signings of draft picks Marcus Smart and James Young. With the cap tentatively expected to be $63.2 million, Celtics fans shouldn’t be expecting any more significant free agency moves this summer.
At the moment, Bradley and Gerald Wallace (yes, he’s still collecting them checks) represent the only guaranteed money on the Boston payroll in 2014-2015, combining for $18.1 million. Jeff Green has a player option for $9.2 million, meaning this number could jump to about $31.6 million after considering that Smart and Young will likely still be around.
What does this all mean? The Celtics will likely be pretty stingy from here on out this summer, but the books open up significantly next summer. Using the stretch provision on Gerald Wallace would also change things a bit, but I’d be surprised if Ainge were to go down that road.
How does it affect the luxury tax?
$77 million is the projected tax threshold for next season, and I’d be shocked to see Boston approach that. In anticipation of another rebuilding year, don’t bet on Ainge breaking the bank to bring back someone like Kris Humphries or Jerryd Bayless. Going into the luxury tax during a rebuilding year just doesn’t make sense, and the Celtics know this. Bradley was probably the one guy they planned on spending money on, and maybe they moved a little quicker to make it happen after seeing what Jodie Meeks got.
Not much, probably. The future of this team rests largely on all of their draft picks and not in luring away other players this summer.
While $8 million per year may be the market for Bradley, it still seems pricey. Some will point to the fact that he makes significantly more than the likes of Tony Allen, another undersized, defensive minded two guard. It’s not a fair comparison; Bradley is already a much better perimeter shooter, and Allen has proven to be superior when it comes to guarding much bigger perimeter players. They’re simply two different players.
After drafting Smart and bringing back Bradley, it looks like Boston will look to build their foundation with a tough defensive identity.
Paying Bradley could mean the end of Rajon Rondo sooner rather than later in Boston, as it just doesn’t make sense to have all three on the roster long-term. Then again, Rondo is the king of surviving trade rumors, so who knows what the Celtics have planned.