I won't pretend that I did any of the math for this. I'm just trusting in the hard work of several smart people who are trying to guess at what some other smart people (Danny Ainge, Mike Zarren, etc.) are going to do today.
- Chris Forsberg - Tip of the cap to creative Celtics - Boston Celtics Blog - ESPN
- Eric Pincus - Celtics team salary page updated
- Ryan Bernardoni (dangercart) - reddit look at the timing of the moves
All of them project about the same thing. Basically that the Celtics could create somewhere between $7.5 and $8M in cap room simply by timing the order of their transactions appropriately.
Look for the team to renounce all their old cap holds whenever the league offices opens. That means we'll be entertained with names such as Shaq, Dana Barros, and Roshown McLeod to name a few. They were kept on the books because there was no reason to remove them from the books until now.
Next, we should see Jonas Jerebko signed pretty quickly. His salary for next year is actually lower than his cap hold so it actually frees up more cap space to sign him.
At this point they would probably sign Amir Johnson into that cap space, though there's still a slight possibility of doing a sign-and-trade with Toronto - though I kind of doubt it.
Then things get kind of interesting. Does the team waive either Chris Babb or Phil Pressey in order to create more cap room? If they do, we might be looking at another free agent signing or some kind of trade happening.
If they officially sign Jae Crowder and complete the paperwork on the David Lee trade, then all signs point to the work being done for the foreseeable future. The team will simply sign their draft picks and roll into training camp with about this roster and let Brad Stevens figure things out. Obviously Ainge will always be ready to roll with the right trade, but if the Jae and Lee deals are made official, they have a little less flexibility.
Now if the Crowder signing and the Lee trade are not completed today, that doesn't mean another deal is definitely going down. It just means that Ainge is keeping the window of opportunity open as long as he can. Remember when Evan Turner agreed to join the Celtics as a free agent but he didn't actually get to put pen to paper for a few weeks? That was because Ainge was keeping his options open. Not to walk away from the deal DeAndre Jordan style, just to have the flexibility to do other deals in the meantime.
My guess is that Ainge will do his cap clearing, sign Jerebko, sign Johnson, and then hit the pause button to see what else he can work out before moving forward. As usual, stay tuned for developments.