Tax Payer MLE Options

NomarsFool

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Last season's TPMLE was $5.7 million (I assume some level below that this off-season - but I don't know when we'll know). That is the C's only real option (aside from trades) to bring in a useful bench/veteran for next season. So, what are their options?
 

Devizier

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With the taxpayer MLE?

Aaron Baynes
Pat Connaughton
Derrick Favors
Harry Giles
Mo Harkless
Justin Holliday
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Josh Jackson
Wes Matthews
E'Twaun Moore

Some of these guys will get more. Some of these guys will probably get less. I ignored RFAs, player option guys who are likely to exercise them, guys like Nerlens Noel who AInge has passed on multiple times in the past, and a few other players who just don't seem to fit what the Celtics are doing.
 

DJnVa

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Just to note:

Using the Mid-Level exception feels different when a $6 million player actually costs ownership $21 million, as could happen at their tax bracket without other cost-cutting measures.
 

128

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With the taxpayer MLE?

Aaron Baynes
Pat Connaughton
Derrick Favors
Harry Giles
Mo Harkless
Justin Holliday
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Josh Jackson
Wes Matthews
E'Twaun Moore

Some of these guys will get more. Some of these guys will probably get less. I ignored RFAs, player option guys who are likely to exercise them, guys like Nerlens Noel who AInge has passed on multiple times in the past, and a few other players who just don't seem to fit what the Celtics are doing.
Not sure when it will happen, but Connaughton seems destined to become a Celtic at some point in his NBA career. The C's could do worse.
 

nighthob

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I think he's destined to end up in LA with his agent.

Harry Giles might be worth a look as a situational player, unfortunately those 289 knee injuries really limit him. Josh Jackson might be worth a look as a big wing if his experiences have humbled him any (doubtful, though).
 

chilidawg

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From the Athletic (re the Celtics) "Using the Mid-Level exception feels different when a $6 million player actually costs ownership $21 million, as could happen at their tax bracket without other cost-cutting measures. "

Any of those guys worth $21m?

 

Euclis20

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I can't quite figure out the deal with Crowder. By the end of his tenure it seemed like his defense had declined significantly, but every time I see him he seems to play reasonably well (not just against Boston), and teams seem to like him. Yet, he's been on 5 teams in the last 4 years.
 

nighthob

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He’s in a contract year playing with his BFF auditioning for a long term deal there. I’d say his performance is entirely predictable.
 

luckiestman

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I think Tatum has said Giles was only HS player on his level. Wonder if they’re friends.
 

nighthob

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There’s a reason that Harry Giles hit free agency after three years. Those 128 knee operations have left him a shell of himself.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Giles showed well in limited minutes I saw this year. Strong passer, competent defender (with room to improve). I’d take a shot though not sure he is the best option.

Sure the knee injuries matter—but we’re taking short money and evaluating how he played not relative to what he might have been.
 

CreedBratton

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I would 100% go after Giles on a vet min deal. I would sign that deal in half a second. Just on the off chance he can stay healthy because when he is healthy he is quite good.
 

Swedgin

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Alec Burks and Ken Bazemore would be on my list as well
There’s a reason that Harry Giles hit free agency after three years. Those 128 knee operations have left him a shell of himself.
That and Kangz gonna Kangz.

Two other guys I would consider: Bazemore and Alec Burks.
 

DannyDarwinism

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I think Tatum has said Giles was only HS player on his level. Wonder if they’re friends.
They’re besties.


 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Alec Burks and Ken Bazemore would be on my list as well


That and Kangz gonna Kangz.

Two other guys I would consider: Bazemore and Alec Burks.
This is where I think the C's play - one of these guys should be available for cheap and both are considered good fits from a chemistry perspective. That said, they are available for a reason. You are getting a dollar store version of Lou Williams.

Of the two, I marginally prefer Burks because he is younger and seems like he has progressed whereas Bazemore has likely seen his best seasons. Based on advanced metrics, Baze is the better player though I tend to discount a lot of the measures given that each player was used situationally.
 

reggiecleveland

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I can't quite figure out the deal with Crowder. By the end of his tenure it seemed like his defense had declined significantly, but every time I see him he seems to play reasonably well (not just against Boston), and teams seem to like him. Yet, he's been on 5 teams in the last 4 years.
Me too.
Is he moving around because he is slid pro # and D guy and people always need guys like that, but he is cap casuality, or is he a guy that wears out his welcome. I think it's the former, but who knows.
 

Swedgin

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Me too.
Is he moving around because he is slid pro # and D guy and people always need guys like that, but he is cap casuality, or is he a guy that wears out his welcome. I think it's the former, but who knows.
I think his challenges in the marketplace stem from the wild inconsistency of his ability to fulfill the "3" part of the "3 "and "D" job description. As a Celtic, he looked him someone who had developed into a good three pointer shooter. Post-Boston not so much. Now 2016-2017 looks like an aberration as opposed to the next step in his development curve. Bottom line, while he is a .340 career shooter from deep, you have no idea what you are getting from year to year and most of the time its a below average shooter.

[TH]Year[/TH] [TH]Three Point %[/TH]
2014-2015 (Celtics acquire him) .293
2015-2016 .336
2016-2017 .398
2017-2018 (traded to Cavs/then Jazz) .323
2018-2019 .331
2019-2020 Memphis (45 games) .293
2019-2020 Heat (20 games) .445
 

HomeRunBaker

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Wow, we are throwing around some crappy names around to pay on multi-year deals. Giles has been a part-time player on a crappy team for good reason. He has zero offensive game beyond put-backs and is an awful defender. Maybe his game can grow into his body but even his body needs to improve in strength.

I could see Burks or Connaughton as a replacement for Wanamaker who is likely to be paid more elsewhere than Ainge is willing to pay.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Wow, we are throwing around some crappy names around to pay on multi-year deals. Giles has been a part-time player on a crappy team for good reason. He has zero offensive game beyond put-backs and is an awful defender. Maybe his game can grow into his body but even his body needs to improve in strength.

I could see Burks or Connaughton as a replacement for Wanamaker who is likely to be paid more elsewhere than Ainge is willing to pay.
I'd be shocked if the Celtics resign Wanamaker regardless of the cost. His best role is very specific so his market is very limited. I doubt he gets a lot more money than he earned this year but its possible.

Again, they need a bit more out of their seventh player off the bench if they hope to progress imo.
 

BigSoxFan

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I'd be shocked if the Celtics resign Wanamaker regardless of the cost. His best role is very specific so his market is very limited. I doubt he gets a lot more money than he earned this year but its possible.

Again, they need a bit more out of their seventh player off the bench if they hope to progress imo.
Agreed. I like Wanamaker and he far surpassed expectations but he and Semi are the key areas to upgrade. Best of luck to both of them and hopefully they can get nice long term deals with the Magic.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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With the taxpayer MLE?

Aaron Baynes
Pat Connaughton
Derrick Favors
Harry Giles
Mo Harkless
Justin Holliday
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Josh Jackson
Wes Matthews
E'Twaun Moore

Some of these guys will get more. Some of these guys will probably get less. I ignored RFAs, player option guys who are likely to exercise them, guys like Nerlens Noel who AInge has passed on multiple times in the past, and a few other players who just don't seem to fit what the Celtics are doing.
Holiday, Matthews, and Moore are the only guys I’d have any interest in since they can at least come off the bench and knock down threes. Hard pass on Connaughton and his 33% 3P% over the past two years.
 

Devizier

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Of the list, only Favors intrigues me. However, the big rotation isn't really a problem and he doesn't solve any of the BIG matchup problems with Theis.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Holiday, Matthews, and Moore are the only guys I’d have any interest in since they can at least come off the bench and knock down threes. Hard pass on Connaughton and his 33% 3P% over the past two years.
Matthews is not a good shooter and while is defense appears to be pretty good, I suspect some of that is a product of the Bucks system and how Giannis affects opposing teams plans. Hard pass on him, especially at age 34 years old. He is essentially a dollar store Marcus Smart. He really doesn't fit what Boston needs which is scoring in the most versatile package (defense and some playmaking...).
 

Light-Tower-Power

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Matthews is not a good shooter and while is defense appears to be pretty good, I suspect some of that is a product of the Bucks system and how Giannis affects opposing teams plans. Hard pass on him, especially at age 34 years old. He is essentially a dollar store Marcus Smart. He really doesn't fit what Boston needs which is scoring in the most versatile package (defense and some playmaking...).
He’s a career 38% 3P shooter on decent volume so I wouldn’t call him a bad shooter, but yeah I agree that he isn’t an exciting option. None of those guys are. I’d love a Joe Harris type guy off the bench but that doesn’t seem like it’s available. Hopefully Edwards makes a leap or Danny gets lucky in the draft.
 

nighthob

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Joe Harris is an unrestricted free agent, so he’s a definite possibility.
 

128

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Joe Harris is an unrestricted free agent, so he’s a definite possibility.
I suspect he'll be out of the C's price range, but I'd love to see him in Boston.
 
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Swedgin

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If he’s out of TMLE range you definitely don’t want him.
It would be a real surprise if Harris has to take a substantial pay cut. He has shot over 40% from three for three years in a row. His incumbent team has Bird Rights, no way to replace him and needs someone with his specific skill set.
 

Sam Ray Not

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True, though you never know who Mr. Chemistry will decide sucks, or doesn’t have championship pedigree, or doesn’t vibe with the spiritual depth of the universe, or whatever. He left Harris off his last list of in-group players. I could kinda see Harris taking a slight discount somewhere else just to get away from the daily Kyrie show.
 

mauf

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I think you guys are underestimating the impact of COVID and associated revenue losses on the FA market. I think few non-contending teams will spend their MLEs. If I’m right, the available options will be a tick better than you guys are forecasting (though obviously there still won’t be game-changing talent available).

How the C’s use their tMLE depends on whether Theis is back. If he’s not, they have to replace him with some sort of stretch 5, which probably means they need to bring back Wanamaker, since the tMLE will be spoken for and a backup PG they bring in for league minimum will likely be worse than BW. Fortunately, they don’t need to play in the wing market — everyone (except possibly Semi) will be back, and they need to give Langford some minutes.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Harris is an outstanding fit, especially if the draft doesn't yield a similar player. I tend to think someone will pay him more---but agree with Mauf we aren't really sure what the willingness to spend on secondary guys will be, either.

I'd think about a flyer on Giles because the tools are there and there was (this year at times) production. But HRB is right, overall it's a big developmental gamble and there's not obvious time/role for him to develop. Favors is interesting if Kanter opts out and he is interested in the role.

Given Langford and the picks, I also wouldn't be shocked if they pass on the vet FA market and instead try to add mid-year. They look like a contender now, and having a bit of salary flexibility in-season might be more useful than what they can get if not the above.
 

benhogan

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I think you guys are underestimating the impact of COVID and associated revenue losses on the FA market. I think few non-contending teams will spend their MLEs. If I’m right, the available options will be a tick better than you guys are forecasting (though obviously there still won’t be game-changing talent available).

How the C’s use their tMLE depends on whether Theis is back. If he’s not, they have to replace him with some sort of stretch 5, which probably means they need to bring back Wanamaker, since the tMLE will be spoken for and a backup PG they bring in for league minimum will likely be worse than BW. Fortunately, they don’t need to play in the wing market — everyone (except possibly Semi) will be back, and they need to give Langford some minutes.
They signed Theis to a 2-yr deal last year. He's back. and I suspect Enes Kanter will also trigger his option.


I agree that teams will not be spending like the past, but the group of players listed are unexciting (unless Harris does go for tMLE).

Why sign an aging vet when you have guys like Grant/TL that showed promise in the playoffs + Romeo, Tre and a handful of rookies coming? Those players need regular-season NBA minutes to develop. The C's need to act/develop young talent a little more like Miami/Toronto + create cheap bench options to dovetail with the Jays timeline. Plus keeping financial flexibility, while quietly shopping Hayward to add younger talent may be an option for Danny
 

nighthob

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It would be a real surprise if Harris has to take a substantial pay cut. He has shot over 40% from three for three years in a row. His incumbent team has Bird Rights, no way to replace him and needs someone with his specific skill set.
He’s a 3&D guy that’s not very good at the other half of the bill. If he’s getting Smart money then you don’t want him.
 

mauf

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They signed Theis to a 2-yr deal last year. He's back. and I suspect Enes Kanter will also trigger his option.

Thanks for the knowledge. I had wrongly assumed that Theis’s 2nd year was a player option, but it’s evidently a club option. He’ll be back.

Completely agree that Kanter will be back. CBS’s unwillingness to use him in most situations in the playoffs will kill any interest from contenders, and as I said, I don’t expect non-contenders to be spending much on depth players like Kanter this offseason.
 

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What about Kyle Korver? I believe he's an UFA. Yeah he has serious defensive limitations but I think this team was a healthy Hayward and a guy who could bomb away for 15-20 minutes off the bench from a trip to the Finals. Korver could be that 15-20 minutes.
 

NomarsFool

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This isn't about Korver, but rather in general, I'd rather spend a roster spot on a young player who can shoot, and could potentially be taught to play defense, than an established veteran who can shoot, and definitely can't play defense. A lot of the players being discussed, seem to have some significant flaws (as you would expect for a veteran on the cheap).
 

Swedgin

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This isn't about Korver, but rather in general, I'd rather spend a roster spot on a young player who can shoot, and could potentially be taught to play defense, than an established veteran who can shoot, and definitely can't play defense. A lot of the players being discussed, seem to have some significant flaws (as you would expect for a veteran on the cheap).
We have three first rounds pick to find that guy. As you correctly noted, young shooters with defensive potential are not available on the MLE market. In terms of the roster spot, if ownership is willing to spend I prefer to use one on an MLE guy rather than an undrafted free agent developmental guy, if for no other reason that it opens up more trade options mid season. Hopefully whomever Danny signs can upgrade Semi's spot in the rotation. But even if he doesn't pan out, the Celtics face a challenge in cobbling together matching salary with sacrificing the core. Having a MLE sized salary to build a package around substantially increases the potential targets come the trade deadline.
 

benhogan

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Fortunately, they don’t need to play in the wing market — everyone (except possibly Semi) will be back, and they need to give Langford some minutes.
I agree they don't really need to sign a vet wing, but I sure hope they draft a bunch of 3/D wings.

Ultimately you want 5 long/strong wings on the floor that can, defend/switch and shoot/score, from the perimeter.
 

mauf

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I agree they don't really need to sign a vet wing, but I sure hope they draft a bunch of 3/D wings.

Ultimately you want 5 long/strong wings on the floor that can, defend/switch and shoot/score, from the perimeter.
Easier said than done, of course.

The pick from Memphis might be Danny’s last chance to draft such a player for a while — guys that even have the potential to develop into what you’re describing are seldom available after the 20th pick. Even drafting wings in the teens, you’re taking a player with at least one obvious hole in his game and gamble he can fix it (or compensate for it, if the deficiency is a lack of length or quickness). Langford is an example of such a gamble; I’ll be happy if Danny lands a similar project in this year’s draft.
 

NomarsFool

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The money paragraph from that article:

"The most humble version of all this involves NOT making a trade for another salary, at least not yet, and instead trading Kanter, Poirier and the 30th pick for a second-round pick, drafting Bolmaro at 26 and leaving him in Spain, and trading the 14th pick for a 2021 first."

The idea of trading the 30th pick to get rid of Kanter and Poirier makes me feel ill.
 

ElcaballitoMVP

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The money paragraph from that article:

"The most humble version of all this involves NOT making a trade for another salary, at least not yet, and instead trading Kanter, Poirier and the 30th pick for a second-round pick, drafting Bolmaro at 26 and leaving him in Spain, and trading the 14th pick for a 2021 first."

The idea of trading the 30th pick to get rid of Kanter and Poirier makes me feel ill.
Yeah, no thanks. That Kanter deal is awful. Wyc has shown a willingness to spend in the past. I don't think he'll be strong arming Danny into make one of these moves. The only thing I'd be fine with in this scenario is taking a draft and stash at 26. I trust Danny to find a contributor at 14. I don't want to trade that for a '21 1st unless it's a deal that just looks too good to pass up, which I doubt we'll see for the 14th pick.

I'd have to imagine they could move Kanter for a late 1st/early 2nd on his own. He's a useful big off the bench on a 1 year deal. A number of contenders would be more than happy to take him. And I guess they could attach Poirier with him if you don't think he has a role.
 

BigSoxFan

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The money paragraph from that article:

"The most humble version of all this involves NOT making a trade for another salary, at least not yet, and instead trading Kanter, Poirier and the 30th pick for a second-round pick, drafting Bolmaro at 26 and leaving him in Spain, and trading the 14th pick for a 2021 first."

The idea of trading the 30th pick to get rid of Kanter and Poirier makes me feel ill.
The basketball gods never look favorably upon teams that are knocking on the door for a championship but then go cheap and Robert Sarver it. I'm confident Wyc and Co will do what it takes.
 

Swedgin

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Yeah, no thanks. That Kanter deal is awful. Wyc has shown a willingness to spend in the past. I don't think he'll be strong arming Danny into make one of these moves. The only thing I'd be fine with in this scenario is taking a draft and stash at 26. I trust Danny to find a contributor at 14. I don't want to trade that for a '21 1st unless it's a deal that just looks too good to pass up, which I doubt we'll see for the 14th pick.

I'd have to imagine they could move Kanter for a late 1st/early 2nd on his own. He's a useful big off the bench on a 1 year deal. A number of contenders would be more than happy to take him. And I guess they could attach Poirier with him if you don't think he has a role.
If Kanter is available to trade in the first place, then you have a good sense he is a negative asset. He has a player option, so Danny would only need to move him if Kanter chose to exercise it. If there is enough of a market for Kanter that a team would give up a first to acquire him, then Kanter does not exercise it and becomes a free agent because such a team would surely be willing to guarantee him more than 5 million.

I think Hollinger is likely correct that there is not such a market for him given 1) no increase in the cap or tax 2) owners being unwilling to spend given the economic climate, 3) limited teams with cap space even without the pandemic and 4) there is not a scarcity of bigs.
 

NomarsFool

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Personally, I think Kanter has value - I'm just not sure he has much value on this Celtic team. In certain situations you could almost call him dominant. As someone pointed out in another thread at some point, I believe, offensive rebounding is very rare in this era of the NBA. Kanter is incredible at it, really, and I think for many teams having someone like Kanter giving them 20-35 minutes a night would be beneficial. I just don't think the minutes are there for him on the Celtics - so I do hope that he doesn't exercise the option and goes somewhere else. He's just not a particularly great fit for this team - other than in special situations and spurts - and that's not a good use of $5 million.
 

PedroKsBambino

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One thing to consider on how much the Celtics will spend is there is nothing surprising for them right now on the cost side---they knew every piece of this cap puzzle, the extensions, the player options---when they made the offers to Theis and Poirer last summer. So I tend to think they were willing to spend when they did those things. It's not like they traded for someone in-season whose extension now makes those deals look unappealing. They signed up for this, and I think had to expect they'd need flexibility

The big caveat is COVID and how much that impacted their revenue expectations.