While we wait for the players and owners to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement, we’ll be taking a look at how various parts of the proposal could affect the Celtics. If you’d like to check out the full proposal, Sports Illustrated obtained a copy and posted it here.
Part I: Free Agency
Part II: The Luxury Tax
There hasn’t been much to talk about regarding the Celtics recent draft history for the simple fact that Danny Ainge hasn’t been in position to select a difference-maker since the 2007 draft-day deal that sent the rights to the fifth pick to the then-Seattle Sonics for Ray Allen. (That pick of course was Jeff Green).
Since then Ainge has drafted J.R. Giddens, Avery Bradley and now JaJuan Johnson with his first round selections. Giddens never saw a third season in Boston, Bradley barely played in his first year and Johnson is a rookie. As such, the Celtics haven’t had to make a decision on whether to extend a rookie deal since signing Rajon Rondo to a five-year deal before the 2009-10 season.
The rookie scale will remain as is, with two years guaranteed for first round picks followed by two more years of team options before a player can hit restricted free agency like Green is now. The biggest change comes in the amount of the qualifying offer where rookie who outperform their draft position can earn a higher salary. Here’s the language:
- Any first round pick who, over his prior two seasons, starts an average of 41 regular season games per season or averages 2000 or more minutes of playing time per season (the ‘starter criteria’) will receive the same Qualifying Offer amount as the player who was the 9th pick in the draft;
- Any second round pick or undrafted player who meets the starter criteria will receive the same Qualifying Offer amount as the player who was the 21st pick in the draft; and any first round pick selected in the first 14 picks in the draft who fails to meet the starter criteria will receive the same Qualifying Offer amount as the 15th pick in the draft.
This won’t have an effect on Bradley who played just 30 games last season and it probably won’t affect Johnson either — if it did he’d either be much better than previously thought or something has gone horribly wrong — but it’s something to keep in mind.
There’s also the so-called Derrick Rose rule that would allow a player to earn a max payday if he meets the following criteria:
- (i) named to the All-NBA first, second, or third team two times, (ii) voted in as an All-Star starter two times, or (iii) named NBA MVP one time. A 30% max contract cannot be signed as part of a sign-and-trade transaction.
Again, interesting, but doesn’t have much relevance to the Celtics at this point.
There is one other piece to the draft equation and it’s potentially a good one for Boston: The minimum-age requirement. This is one of the so-called “B-List” issues that has yet to be worked out but there are indications that the NBA will keep the one-and-done parameters for the time being.
Why is that important? The Celtics own a top-10 protected first round pick from the Clippers and under ordinary circumstances one might think it wise to wait for the Clips to inevitably screw up the Blake Griffin-era, wait until 2016 when it’s unprotected and swoop in with a prime pick, or simply keep it in their back pocket for a trade sweetener.
All of that may be true, but the 2012 draft will be loaded thanks to a number of underclassmen who stuck around for an extra year rather than wait for the lockout mess to be resolved and the Clippers may be good enough to get that pick next year.
While that wouldn’t put the C’s in the running for top prospects like Anthony Davis, Harrison Barnes and Jared Sullinger there should be a number of good players to be had in the middle part of the first round. Here’s the list of players ranked 11-15 on Draft Express Top 100 board:
- 11. Jeremy Lamb, G UConn
- 12. James McAdoo, F UNC
- 13. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, F Kentucky (an early-season Green Street favorite)
- 14. Tyler Zeller, C UNC
- 15. Patric Young, F Florida
Just for kicks, Duke guard Austin Rivers is No. 16 and while the prospect list will undoubtedly fluctuate, the point is that this is a draft where any team will want to have multiple picks.