There have been numerous reports recently about the financial stability of many NBA teams. According to a source that told ESPN.com that all 30 NBA teams were informed that there will be gradual increases in the salary cap restrictions for the next two seasons before the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires at the end of the 2016-17 season. The NBA’s current salary cap is $58.6 million and is expected to increase to $63.2 million going into affect on July 1st, just in time for the free agency period. There will also be a rise in the luxury tax threshold from $71.7 million to $77 million next season.
This is music to many NBA teams’ ears and it will be a major beneficiary to the Boston Celtics as they are still locked up in some tough contracts heading into next season. The notable players taking up a huge chunk of the teams salary is Brandon Bass, Jeff Green, Rajon Rondo and Gerald Wallace. The Celtics will have $49 million locked up next season in total and that doesn’t include the two first round picks in the upcoming NBA draft. The projected first round picks will likely make around $5.2 million in addition to what is already locked up for next season.
The Celtics will have a lot more flexibility to work with this summer with all of the other great assets already available to them. The Celtics are now expected to have around $9 million to spend in free agency as opposed to $6 million they would’ve had from the get-go. It may not seem like a lot to work with, but think of the other assets that are available to them. The Celtics have three total draft picks for this summer and will have six picks in next years draft. They still have $10.3 million in trade exception from the Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett trade last summer. With a lot more wiggle room than expected, the Celtics will be able to absorb a big contract like Kevin Love’s or Carmelo Anthony’s if they chose to make a move for either of them.
The Celtics will still have to address their own free agents before seeing what’s available in the open market. Jerryd Bayless and Kris Humphries will be unrestricted free agents on July 1st and Avery Bradley will be a restricted free agent. Of course I would like to see all three of them returning to the green next season, but I’m ready to accept the fact that there is a possibility that only a few or none of them may be back. The plus side is that the massive $12 million contract that Kris Humphries earned this season will be off the books and that notion gives the Celtics a fair chance to make reasonable offers to all three of their own free agents.
I put all of my trust in the front office to make any right decision they make to help the Celtics improve next season and hopefully get back into the playoffs. We have hearing the word “fireworks” since the final few months of the regular season and it’s not being referred to the 4th of July on the Charles River. I’m ready for the potential fireworks that the Celtics will make and all we can do at this point is just wait and see what happens, then embrace it.