Doc Rivers is out that door, and he isn’t coming back … at least not until the Clippers make their one and only visit to Boston next season.
What will the Celtics look like when the Clippers come calling?
Good question, and my answer is that Boston will look like a totally different team, with Rajon Rondo possibly one of the few holdovers from what was a pretty nice era for the C’s now that we look at it in retrospect.
I fully expect Danny Ainge to trade Rondo sometime during next season, but teams will first want to see that he is fully recovered from his knee surgery.
The first order of business is what to do with Paul Pierce, whose contract has a $5 million buyout. The best option would be to trade him before June 30, which would put the Celtics under the luxury tax threshold and allow them to avoid the new punitive repeater tax.
The luxury tax line for the upcoming season has been projected to be $71.6 million. The Celtics payroll at the moment is $76 million. That would carry a tax bill of $6.6 million. Waiving Pierce would cut the payroll down to $66 million. So the Celtics, by waiving Pierce, would essentially be saving $16.6 million dollars. Toss in Rivers’ $7 million and we’re up to $23.6 million in savings.
As first reported by our own Joe Kotoch in Mock Draft 6.0, the Cavs are willing to surrender picks 31 and 33 to acquire Pierce. The Bucks and Wolves are also reportedly interested.
The next issue is Kevin Garnett, who has a no-trade clause.
The deal that would have sent him to the Clippers for DeAndre Jordan apparently will not pass muster with NBA commissioner David Stern, but the teams may still try to pull it off and call Stern’s bluff — if it is a bluff. If a Clippers deal cannot be done, the Celtics can ask Garnett for a list of teams he would approve a trade to.
Boom goes the dynamite, as the saying goes.
More in this video with CineSport’s Noah Coslov.