Ainge is working the edges of the roster

Darren McCollester

Timing appears to be important.

This may interest only me and a few other diehard nerds, but has anyone noticed that we've got 3 guys that haven't been officially signed yet?

Recent reports have indicated that the Celtics have agreed to a "multi year deal" with Phil Pressey and a 3 year deal with Vitor Faverani. Yet the team has not sent out any official press releases. Also, nothing official has been announced about Colton Iverson either. There were some rumblings (from overseas websites) that he was considering a deal with a team in Turkey, but that report was shot down and it sounds like the Celtics intend to sign him. There are some 2nd round picks that don't make the final roster cuts, but Ainge used some of Wyc's money to go out and buy a draft pick for this guy. I can't imagine them leaving him unsigned or cutting him in camp after that.

So what gives? As the Herald reported a few days ago, it is mostly a timing thing.

Brad Stevens set for C’s experience | Boston Herald

With so many moving parts and the need to begin the regular season with a payroll at least $2 million below where it is now, Ainge is attempting to time every signing and deletion from his roster. Next up is a decision on whether to pick up a $1.1 million option on Shavlik Randolph’s contract by Aug. 1. Management would clearly prefer to bring back the center, who may be one of the best rebounders on the roster. But there is an outside chance that the team will have to pass up on Randolph’s fairly minimal contract, if it means getting under the $72.7 million luxury tax threshold.

So they need to shed $2M, they can only save $1.1M by cutting Shav, and they have deals in place for 2 or 3 other guys. That math just doesn't add up unless there are move moves that they have lined up that we don't know about yet.

Actually, I have some quibbles with those numbers. First of all, the Luxury Tax threshold is actually $71.7M, not $72.7. Also, I'm not sure where that $2M number came from. It looks like (according to this updated breakdown of the Celtics salaries) that at this point we're under the $71.7M tax threshold - even when you factor in Vitor and Pressey.

Regardless, the Celtics have 14 guys officially under contract (Olynyk signed back on July 7th) and another 3 that they are looking to add to the roster. They don't have to make cuts until the end of training camp, but at some point something has to give.

It will be interesting to see if Randolph's contract is retained past August 1st. That seems to be the next date to watch. If I've got the numbers right, he doesn't really have to do anything by then, but it would be nice to get these guys signed on the dotted line before too long.

I do tend to believe that Ainge has at least one or two deals that he could make - or perhaps has already agreed to make but has to wait on for the other team's timing purposes. But that's just speculation and I guess we'll have to wait and see.

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