June 5, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Boston Celtics point guard Keyon Dooling (51) reacts after making a three-point basket during the second half in game five of the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat of the 2012 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Boston won 94-90. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Some interesting details involving the Celtics cap constraints and payroll decisions in the next few weeks.
For one thing, it sounds like the Celtics will be on the hook for Dooling's salary, despite the fact that he won't play for us this year.
With a tip of the cap to salary-cap guru Larry Coon, the Celtics are still on the hook for Dooling's $854,000 salary (he'll actually make $1.35 million, but the league pays the remaining portion of it). Unless Dooling elects to forfeit his salary (or negotiates a low-money buyout), it appears the team will still be billed (which adds a wrinkle of difficulty given its cap constraints).
That extra $854K might make things interesting if the Celtics are trying to stay below the harsher luxury tax levels.
Speaking of which, if you want an insight into who has the inside track to make the 15th roster spot, follow the money.
Maybe more intriguing is the contract of first-year guard Dionte Christmas. According to ShamSports, the first season of the two-year deal is guaranteed for half ($236,800) of the first-year player minimum salary ($473,600). That hefty commitment, while not enough to cement his spot on the roster, certainly aids his cause. Consider that fellow roster hopeful Jamar Smith has a similarly structured two-year deal (both second years are fully non-guaranteed), but Smith's first-year guarantee is only $25,000 if waived before November 15.
Lastly, that last article points out that Kevin Garnett's contract is only partially guaranteed in the final year. Like Pierce's deal, if something should happen to him (injury or sharp dropoff in production) the team would buy him out or outright cut him and only have to pay him $6M in that third year (when he'll be pushing 40). Not something critical for the time being, but something to store in the old memory banks for sometime down the line.