LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17: Owner Wyc Grousbeck of the Boston Celtics sits courtside at Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on June 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Paul Flannery is writing about the Celtics again, and that's a good thing. He kicks things off with an offseason overview that covers a range of topics. One that interested me that probably hasn't been covered enough here is the luxury tax issue (I was told there would be no math).
The Celtics will pay the luxury tax once again but remained under the new "tax apron" that hits major tax payers harder under the latest CBA.
The ownership group is to be commended for continuing to go over the tax line year after year in an effort to build a contender. The Celtics have been taxpayers each year of the Garnett era, with a bill totaling more than $46 million. Only four teams have paid more in tax (although those four — the Knicks, Trail Blazers, Mavericks and Lakers — have paid a lot more). Their financial commitment is one thing, but the new CBA also carries harsher measures for teams that stay over the tax. The Celtics should be bumping up against that line next season and if they go it over it again in 2015 they would be subject to the "repeater" tax, which results in an even tougher financial hit. Additionally, it becomes more difficult for tax teams to execute trades, and they won’t have the full value of free agent exceptions.
This is a fine point, but one to be made. Ainge was able to reboot the roster and sign up for millions in salary but still managed to maintain some reasonable short term flexibility. That's huge when you are dealing with a team that is 2 years past what people originally thought was their "window."