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How the proposed CBA affects the Celtics: Free agency 11.28.11 at 12:01 am ET
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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, SI’s Sam Amick obtained a copy and posted it here.

First up: Free agency

I. CAP EXCEPTIONS

Let’s establish a couple of realities for the Celtics this season. 1. They will be over the cap. 2. They will be at or near the luxury tax.

This is important because there are new realities for tax teams in the proposed CBA, the biggest being the use of the mid-level exception. Under the old agreement any team could use the full MLE amount on one or more players. That’s how the Celtics were able to sign James Posey and Eddie House in 2007 and Rasheed Wallace (2009) and Jermaine O’Neal (2010) even though they were over the cap. They also used what’s known as the bi-annual exception to sign Marquis Daniels in 2009.

Here’s what’s different (quoted directly from the proposal).

  • Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception: Set at $5M in years 1 and 2, growing 3% annually thereafter; maximum contract length of 4 years; can be used every year.
  • Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception: Set at $3M in year 1, growing 3% annually thereafter; maximum contract length of 3 years; can be used every year.
  • Bi-Annual Exception can only be used by non-taxpayers. Amount set at $1.9M in year 1, growing 3% annually thereafter. Exception cannot be used in 2 consecutive years and has maximum contract length of 2 years (same as under 2005 CBA).

Assuming the Celtics will be a tax team, they would have to use the smaller MLE and would lose the ability to use the bi-annual exception. There’s another wrinkle here as reported by SI’s Zach Lowe:

“Every team can use the full mid-level exception, provided doing so does not take the team more than $4 million over the tax line. If you use the full mid-level to get to or approach that barrier looming $4 million over the tax line, you cannot cross it by re-signing your own free agents via Larry Bird Rights.”

This gets a little complicated but the takeaway is the Celtics probably couldn’t use the full MLE and re-sign Jeff Green and/or Glen Davis.

So, it seems likely that team president Danny Ainge will be looking for free agent help armed with only the $3 million exception and the veterans minimum to attract free agents. That’s not the worst thing in the world because Ainge would like to keep the books clean for next summer and the last thing he needs is a $5 million contract hanging out on their balance sheet. There will also be lots of veteran players looking for contracts on Dec. 9 who might be willing to sign on for one year with a contender.

II. CONTRACT LENGTHS AND BIRD RIGHTS

  • Maximum contract length of 5 years for Bird players and 4 years for other free agents.
  • Maximum annual increases of 7.5% for Bird and Early Bird players, and 4.5% for other players.
  • Period for a player’€™s prior team to match an Offer Sheet that a Restricted Free Agent receives from a new team shortened from 7 to 3 days. (NOTE: The last bullet point affects Green as a restricted free agent.)

As before, players can get the best return by re-signing with their teams when they hit free agency. Of the Celtics’ free agents, three have the most value: Green, Davis and Delonte West.

The question for Ainge is how much value do they represent to the Celtics, not just for this year but beyond? One of the late tweaks to the proposal was keeping the sign-and-trade option. Beyond that, teams can use the sign-and-trade mechanism for the next two years regardless of their cap and tax situation. Here’s the language:

  • Except during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, teams are prohibited from acquiring a free agent in a sign-and-trade if their team salary post-transaction would exceed the tax level by more than $4 million. The maximum contract length for a sign-and-trade is 4 years, and maximum annual increases are 4.5%.

Davis, in particular, could have value in a sign-and-trade.

III. AMNESTY CUTS

This is a big one to watch because there could be a handful of players hitting the open market who might be willing to go to a team like the Celtics — or the Lakers, Heat, etc.

Here’s the rule:

  • Each team permitted to waive 1 player prior to any season of the CBA (only for contracts in place at the inception of the CBA) and have 100% of the player’€™s salary removed from team salary for Cap and Tax purposes.

The only Celtic who could potentially fit in this scenario would be Jermaine O’Neal who has one year and $6.2 million left on his deal. That could potentially allow them to use the full MLE, but seems unlikely considering the short time he has left under contract and the reality that cutting the only legitimate center on a team that needs at least one, if not two more centers would be a major risk.

Here’s the potentially crazy part:

  • A modified waiver process will be utilized for players waived pursuant to the Amnesty rule, under which teams with Room under the Cap can submit competing offers to assume some but not all of the player’€™s remaining contract. If a player’€™s contract is claimed in this manner, the remaining portion of the player’€™s salary will continue to be paid by the team that waived him.

In other words, teams that are under the cap would get first crack at Amnesty players via waivers. That adds a whole other layer of intrigue to the process, but if the player passes through waivers he’d become an unrestricted free agent and you can bet the Celtics will be watching this list intently for unexpected bargains.

Free agency is tentatively scheduled to begin on Dec. 9, the same date as training camps will open. It will make for a hectic period of player movement and with so many roster spots available, the Celtics will be scrambling to fill those vacancies. If form holds, it seems likely Ainge will be looking to fill the roster gaps with a mix of veterans on short-term contracts.

Read More: CBA proposal, Danny Ainge, Delonte West, Glen Davis
Irish Coffee: Six Celtics actually play basketball 10.24.11 at 1:02 pm ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

Celtics restricted free agent Jeff Green played with the big boys, and won.

A fixture in exhibition games hosted by NBA stars during the lockout, Green helped former Thunder teammate Kevin Durant as well as LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, LaMarcus Aldridge, Jamal Crawford and former Boston College standout Reggie Jackson win the U.S. Fleet Tracking Basketball Invitational in Oklahoma City on Sunday night.

Green totaled 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists in 48 minutes of a 176-171 overtime victory against the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Michael Beasley, Damien Wilkins, James Harden and Jonny Flynn. Beasley (51), Anthony (43), Durant (42) and James (40) all eclipsed 40 points.

‘€œYou put guys like that on the court, you are going to do whatever it takes,’€ Green told reporters after the game. ‘€œIt was fun at the beginning, then it got serious at the end. It’€™s great to play these type of games, but we do want to get the season started.’€

Green was one of six current or recent Celtics who actually played competitive basketball over the weekend. Here’s a rundown of the other five … Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, E'Twaun Moore, JaJuan Johnson
Irish Coffee: Top 5 plays by Celtics during NBA lockout 10.21.11 at 2:49 pm ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

The latest news from collective bargaining negotiations between NBA owners and players isn’t good. Media members can’t decide whether Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck is among owners who actually want a season or ones sustaining the lockout. Either way, the biggest losers in all of this are NBA fans. This list of top of Top 5 plays by Celtics during the NBA lockout goes out to us losers (wait, what?):

5. Glen “Big Baby” Davis seemingly losing to a fourth-grader at the IMG Basketball Academy

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Glen Big Baby Davis, JaJuan Johnson
Kevin Durant, LeBron James put on show as Jeff Green remains conspicuously absent from highlights 08.31.11 at 10:07 am ET
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While Kevin Durant and LeBron James stole the show in the much anticipated summer exhibition matchup between the Goodman League and the Melo League, Celtics restricted free agent forward Jeff Green was noticeably missing from any and all Twitter coverage, highlights packages and game stories.

Durant scored 59 points in defeat, while James netted 38 points in victory — seemingly all on dunks. Carmelo Anthony chipped in 36 points and Chris Paul tallied 18 points for the Melo All-Stars. To be fair, with so many NBA stars involved, it’s no wonder really that Green’s light shone least.

There are only two reasons we know Green even showed up: 1) He and Durant arrived late, delaying the game; and 2) This picture of Anthony cruising to the basket past him … Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Carmelo Anthony, Goodman League, Jeff Green, Kevin Durant
Celtics’ free agent options at backup power forward 08.25.11 at 3:06 pm ET
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We’€™re almost two months into the NBA lockout, and more progress has been made on the crippled U.S. economy than the collective bargaining agreement negotiations, but that doesn’€™t mean we can’€™t still examine the likely free agents available to the Celtics for the (fingers crossed) 2011-12 season once commissioner David Stern and players association executive director Billy Hunter kiss and make up.

We’€™ve profiled the C’€™s biggest needs — at center and shooting guard — as well as two other critical positions (backup point guards and small forwards), so we move to the final piece of Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge‘€™s puzzle: Backup Power Forwards.

The Celtics started this past season with a surefire Hall of Fame four in Kevin Garnett, and backed him up with a Sixth Man of the Year candidate in Glen Davis. The C’€™s version of assistant to the assistant regional manager rotated from Luke Harangody to ‘€œWe Hardly Knew Ye’€ Chris Johnson to Troy Murphy, with a dabble of Jeff Green, who played the four for the Thunder but is more suited to the three on the Celtics. Got all that? Good.

As we’€™ve noted  before, the Celtics have six players under contract in 2011-12 for a combined $64.3 million (Garnett, $21.2 million; Paul Pierce, $15.33 million; Ray Allen, $10 million; Rajon Rondo, $10 million; Jermaine O’€™Neal, $6.23 million; Avery Bradley, $1.53 million), and should match any offer Green receives — unless another team far exceeds his qualifying offer of $5.9 million.

Davis and Murphy are free agents, and while they might sound like a buddy cop duo from Dublin, they’€™re actually both pretty darn good for second and third options at the four. The addition of first-round pick JaJuan Johnson — a 6-foot-10 senior power forward out of Purdue — likely makes a Murphy-type expendable. But even with Garnett, Green and Johnson expected to be on the 2011-12 roster, the Celtics should seek one more power forward option, in case Johnson isn’€™t ready and to leave Green on the wing.

Without further ado, let’€™s take a look at the options that should be available to the Celtics at backup power forward (barring overseas exports), separating the current free agent players into four categories and forgetting about David West, because that ain’€™t happening ‘€¦ Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2011 NBA free agents, Boston Celtics, Carl Landry, Glen Big Baby Davis
Jeff Green: Joining Celtics was a tough situation 08.23.11 at 5:11 pm ET
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Once again, unrestricted free agent Jeff Green explained the difficulty he experienced trying to integrate himself into the Celtics‘ offensive and defensive schemes after the Kendrick Perkins trade. NBA.com’s David Aldridge discussed the issue with him earlier this month, and Yahoo! Sports reporter Marc J. Spears also pressed Green on his statistical drop-off after leaving the Thunder. Here’s what Green told Spears:

  • On joining the Celtics: “They’ve been together for a number of years. They’ve already won a championship, they already have a system, they already have their chemistry and that bond on that team. It was tough to go into that situation.”
  • On replacing Kendrick Perkins: “The one thing about me is that I’€™m not trying to fill anybody’€™s shoes. Kendrick is a totally different player than myself. People looked at me being the type of player I am and with the name I have going into this situation, they expected me to fill his shoes.”
  • On adjusting to the Celtics: “It was tough to gather all that information so fast and try to gather the concepts of what they are trying to do.”
  • On remaining with the Celtics: “I’ve been in the gym working, but things have been hairy. You never know what’€™s going to happen. I’€™m always going to be prepared. I’€™m just taking it day by day. There is nothing much I can do right now. When things get done, they get done.”

Green doesn’t ever really say anything about remaining with the Celtics (although he admits his stint with Boston’s Big Three was “amazing”). The C’s have already extended a $5.9 million qualifying offer to Green. Another team would have to offer Green more, and even then the C’s could still match any such offer.

As I’ve noted before, the Celtics would be crazy to let Green go elsewhere, considering his future on the team is the only possible way the team can save face from the Perkins deal — especially since center Nenad Krstic has already signed a two-year deal in Russia.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Jeff Green, Kendrick Perkins,
10 things I heard about Celtics 08.09.11 at 5:07 pm ET
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Even on a slower Celtics news day than normal, there’s still plenty to learn about Boston’s green men. Here are 10 C’s links of interest we discovered over the past 24 hours …

10. Jeff Green‘s 26 points and last-minute 3-pointer helped seal the Nike D.C. Pro City championship in a 105-101, double-overtime victory on Sunday. Of course, his team also featured Pistons forward Greg Monroe (32 points), and their opponent was comprised of Georgetown’s incoming freshmen class.

As HoyaReport.com reported, “One of the best players in Pro City this summer, Green has had a penchant for playing well but not necessarily focused. He has used the league to work on his outside game and have fun. Sunday was different. It was clear he was dialed in.”

9. According to the Lawrence Journal, Paul Pierce is among a group of former University of Kansas players that could be playing in an NBA alumni weekend exhibition game in September. The other potential players: Grizzlies Darrell Arthur, Xavier Henry and Josh Selby; the Thunder’s Cole Aldrich and Nick CollisonMario Chalmers (Heat); Drew Gooden (Bucks); Kirk Hinrich (Hawks), Darnell Jackson (Kings); Marcus Morris (Rockets); Markieff Morris (Suns); Brandon Rush (Pacers); and Julian Wright (Raptors).

“It’s something we’ve talked about,” Kansas head coach Bill Self told the paper. “That’s certainly something we’d consider doing. We have talked about a lot of things, and that is one of them. It’s certainly an option.”

Obviously, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo has already signed for a similar exhibition game between the Dominican National Team and a bunch of University of Kentucky alumns (Rondo, John Wall, Tayshaun Prince, DeMarcus Cousins, Jodie Meeks, Nazr Mohammed, Eric Bledsoe and Keith Bogans). You can vote for Rondo as a starter for that team here.

8. A photographer recently captured a photo of Shaquille O’Neal and girlfriend Nicole Alexander. The 5-foot-2, 100-pound Hoopz really puts into perspective just how big the 7-foot-1, 325-pound former Celtics center was. Shaq’s jorts and slippers are a whole different matter. Here’s the photo: Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Jeff Green, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce
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