The Boston Celtics are over the projected tax line of $77 million, though they will easily get under that number by walking away from Keith Bogans and his nonguaranteed contract of $5.3 million, though it's more likely that he'll be used in a trade in some form or another. That would be the best thing for the Celtics anyway. The Celtics also have Babb to let go to get the roster down to 15 players.
The Celtics have four expiring contracts (Rondo, Thornton, Bass, and Anthony), Boston will have over $32 million coming off the books in 2015, putting them in a great spot to make blockbuster moves, just like they have been this summer. Let's take Rondo off the list, because deep down inside the Celtics need him to get a big free agent. Danny should know that right? No big name guy would okay a trade to come here without another star, and another star wouldn't come here in the summer of 2015 without Rondo. So Let's say the Celtics sign Rondo to 12-15 million a season. That would still give them space to sign another star.
Danny is the "Trader" and a few more moves should be on the way to shape this roster to set up a deal for Love. The plentiful of future draft picks isn't enough. Danny needs to acquire expiring deals, like he did with Thornton, and other assets to pursue Love from the Wolves. I assume this deal is to go for Love. It may not be either. The Celtics do get a young center, and a pick, and the most important thing an expiring $8 million from Thornton.
The Celtics will need to make another move regardless of Love. They'll need to stay below the luxury tax.
A quick breakdown of where the Boston Celtics' 2014-15 roster stands following Wednesday's three-team swap:
Guards: Rajon Rondo ($12.9 million), Marcus Thornton ($8.6 million), Avery Bradley ($7.2 million**), Keith Bogans ($5.3 million*), Marcus Smart ($3.3 million), James Young ($1.7 million), Chris Babb ($816,000*), Phil Pressey ($816,000*)
Forwards: Gerald Wallace ($10.1 million), Jeff Green ($9.2 million), Brandon Bass ($6.9 million), Kelly Olynyk ($2.1 million), Jared Sullinger ($1.4 million), Chris Johnson ($915,000*)
Centers: Joel Anthony ($3.8 million), Vitor Faverani ($2.1 million), Tyler Zeller ($1.7 million)
(** - estimated salary; * - nonguaranteed)
A handful of thoughts:
• Boston currently has 17 players under contract for a total of roughly $78.8 million. The early projections put next year's salary cap at $63.2 million and the tax line at $77 million. There's plenty of time for Boston to maneuver and get down below the tax line (especially with $7.9 million worth of nonguaranteed contracts on their books). The Celtics would seemingly prefer to maneuver without necessarily just cutting the likes of Bogans, whose contract makes him a valuable trade chip (whether that's now, or further down the road).