Impacts of a lower 2020-21 cap/tax for the Boston Celtics
By Keith P Smith | Mar 27, 2020https://www.celticsblog.com/2020/3/27/21197264/impacts-of-a-lower-2020-21-cap-tax-for-the-boston-celtics-danny-ainge-gordon-hayward
One suggestion making the rounds is putting a lower bound on the salary cap for 2020-21 of only allowing it to go as low as this season’s mark of $109 million. The same six teams will still have cap space, just less of it. If the cap goes even lower, down to the most-pessimistic levels, the landscape could change entirely.
Boston has the following breakdown roster-wise heading into the summer of 2020:
· Fully Guaranteed (9 players) – Jaylen Brown, Carsen Edwards, Romeo Langford, Vincent Poirier, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, Grant Williams, Robert Williams III
· Non-Guaranteed (2 players) – Javonte Green, Daniel Theis
· Potential Free Agents (6 players) – Tacko Fall (Restricted – Two-Way), Gordon Hayward (Unrestricted - Player Option), Enes Kanter (Unrestricted – Player Option), Semi Ojeleye (Restricted – Team Option, becomes Non-Guaranteed if TO exercised), Brad Wanamaker (Restricted), Tremont Waters (Restricted – Two-Way)
· Potential First Round Draft Picks (3 picks) – via Memphis Grizzlies (if 7-30), Boston’s own, via Milwaukee Bucks (if 8-30)
No matter what, the Celtics aren’t going to be a cap space team. They’re at over $95 million in guaranteed salary alone. And that’s before adding in any of the three first round picks, and also projecting to let walk all eight of the players who are non-guaranteed or potential free agents. That’s not going to happen. Thus, no cap space for Boston this summer.
What the Celtics are like to be is a luxury tax team. Just how high that tax bill goes will depend on what happens with those free agents. Here’s a projection on how those decisions play out:
· Boston guarantees both Theis and Green. Theis is a no-brainer. Green makes just $1.5 million. The only reason to waive him is to create a roster spot for one of the draft picks.
· Hayward and Kanter both exercise their player options. Given the relative uncertainty of where things might be this offseason, both Hayward and Kanter are likely to opt in at $34.2 million and $5 million respectively for 2020-21.
· Celtics exercise their team option for Semi Ojeleye. $1.7 million is more than fair for what Ojeleye provides.
· Boston issues qualifying offers for Tacko Fall and Tremont Waters. The qualifying offer for a Two-Way player is ridiculously low. The Celtics will retain rights to match any offer either signs for now.
· Celtics issue a qualifying offer for Brad Wanamaker. This one is tough, but it’s only $1.9 million for the QO for Wanamaker. He’s been a rotation player all season. There is also no guarantee Wanamaker would re-sign for that amount either.