The last sticking point in the Celtic-Minnesota deal has been identified, and the sides were working this afternoon to clear that final hurdle. The bottom line is that the deal will get done.
According to sources, the Celts are trying to finesse the finances on Kevin Garnett’s trade kicker and extension to avoid the luxury tax, and it is in the best interest of both the team and the player to do so.
The Celtics would obviously like to avoid paying the dollar for dollar tax that goes into effect when a team’s payroll exceeds $67.865 million. Considering the combined salaries of Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen and the fact the Celts will need to add players to fill out their roster after the 5 for 1 move, the club could easily be headed over that mark if it doesn’t tame the numbers on Garnett’s contract.
From Garnett’s standpoint, it would behoove him to work with the Celts on this because it could help the club bring in better role players to put around him, thus increasing the chance of success.
Also, the deal remains pretty much as reported earlier, with Al Jefferson (the key all along for Minnesota), Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair and Theo Ratliff heading to the Timberwolves. The Celts will also send their 2009 first round pick and allow Minnesota to keep the pick it owed Boston from the Ricky Davis-Wally Szczerbiak et al trade.
Update: More math from Marc Stein