In case you missed the news from yesterday, the Boston Celtics were granted the option to use a Disabled Player Exception ($3.2M, expires in March) because of Danilo Gallinari’s ACL injury. Before you go any further, I urge you to read through Keith Smith’s DPE Q&A’s.
The topic of the day is “How would you use the DPE?” Here are some broad stroke options:
Sign a player for $3.2M
One thing of note that Keith points out...
As for what this really means…that’s a little more difficult. $3.2 million isn’t all that much. A 10+ year veteran minimum contract this season will pay $2.9 million in actual salary this season. The kicker is that the $2.9 million veteran minimum only counts against the cap and tax at $1.8 million.
If the Celtics acquire or sign a player making even $3 million via the DPE, that player would hit the cap/tax at the full $3 million amount. When you are already more than $21 million into the tax, that extra $1.2 million adds up very quickly.
Bottom line is that if we were going to sign a free agent still available, they probably would have taken the veteran minimum in the summer or training camp. My guess is that if we use this on a free agent, it will be a buyout guy after the trade deadline.
Trade for a player making $3.2M
Again, you would think that if a player making that little was available right now, they would have been available over the summer. However, sometimes teams get a few weeks into the season and decide to go in a different direction. So this might be more realistic, especially because of the need for depth at center.
Another Keith note:
Let’s say Boston is trying to make a trade this season and they are off by up to $3.2 million in matching salary, they could take a smaller salary into the DPE to make the trade work.
So this is another option for Brad Stevens to use at the deadline.
Final important reminder: you can’t use this DPE on anyone that has more years or options on their contract, but it can be used to acquire one (1) player on an ending (expiring) contract without options.
Don’t use the DPE, use Gallinari’s whole $6.5M salary in a trade
Call it heartless if you like, but if the Celtics find a trade for a player making the right kind of money, they could package Gallo’s salary with either a pick or Payton Pritchard to bring back someone that could help this year and beyond.
There’s nothing saying that the Celtics have to use any of the exceptions that they own. With Rob coming back around the holidays, it might be that they don’t need anything. But it is always nice to have more options.
Ok your turn. What would you do with the DPE?