NBA salary cap expected to increase to $94 million


NBA salary cap expected to increase to $94 million

Every dollar counts when you’re trying to squeeze free agent and draft pick signees under the NBA’s complicated salary cap. Fortunately for the Celtics, the 2016-17 season cap will increase more than expected.

"The NBA has informed all 30 teams that the salary cap for the 2016-17 season is projected to be $94 million, higher than its previous estimates," reports The Vertical’s Shams Charania. "The NBA's projected salary cap and tax level of $94 million and $113 million, respectively, have increased since the previous estimates done by the league and its players' union."

That $2 million might feel like a negligible difference, but it could actually be significant.

Not only does it change the expected max salary figures for each free agent, but it gives each team more breathing room to fit players under the cap. That’s especially the case for the Celtics, who are in an actionable position this summer. With three non-guaranteed contracts, two restricted free agents, eight draft picks, and a huge lump of cap space, Boston already has plenty of flexibility. But that cap space can fill up quickly if they start making additions.

Now, having the extra chunk of cap room allows the Celtics to swell their grandiose plans while making it easier to accomplish their goal of adding multiple star players.

Let's say for the sake of discussion the Celtics end up trading for Jimmy Butler during next Thursday’s NBA Draft. That move alone would be a tremendous accomplishment, but it'd be more difficult for them to crunch the numbers to fit in Kevin Durant and another star free agent -- like Al Horford -- while retaining their impressive depth.

They can't compromise the talent they already have, or else their situation will be less appealing to those stars. Under the original cap projection of $92 million, current players would have to be sent off in trades, or free agents would have to take significant pay cuts to sign. With the extra $2 million, it’s less likely they’ll have to make those sacrifices.

Even if the Celtics don’t land any stars this summer, and there isn’t any pressure with the cap, the increased cap magnifies just how much of a bargain their current best players are to an even greater extent.

For example, Isaiah Thomas will make $6.6 million next season, which is the equivalent of a $5 million contract this year under the $70 million cap. The same can be said for Avery Bradley ($8.3 million) and Jae Crowder ($6.3 million).

What a bargain.

The chances are Durant won’t leave Oklahoma City. But in the event he’s willing to pack his bags for Boston, Danny Ainge and the Celtics have to be ready to make it work by accommodating his desires. That extra $2 million might seem like pocket change, but they might need it to get what they want.

Kevin O’Connor can be followed on Twitter: @KevinOConnorNBA

'Big Baby' busted with 126 grams of pot, $92K in cash

AP Photo

'Big Baby' busted with 126 grams of pot, $92K in cash

Former Celtics forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis was arrested last month in a hotel room in Aberdeen, Maryland, with more than 126 grams of marijuana and more than $92,000 in cash.

Davis, 32, who played on the Celtics 2008 championship team was last in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2015, was arrested Feb. 7 after the hotel owner at the Aberdeen Hampton Inn smelled marijuana coming from Davis' room, WMAR-TV in Baltimore reported.

“They recovered 126 grams of marijuana,” Aberdeen Police Lt. William Reiber told WMAR. “In addition to that, there was a briefcase that contained 92,164 dollars of U.S. currency along with a ledger that contained language which is consistent with someone involved in the sale and distribution of narcotics.”

Davis is charged with seven counts of drug possession and distribution.

Police said the strains of marijuana were from a Los Angeles wholesaler that court records show Davis told police he was in business with.

He told officers he was visiting family in Maryland. Davis' attorney told WMAR the former Celtic (2007-11) adamantly maintains his innocence and looks forward to his day in court next month to clear his name. 


Horford helps Celtics get back on track

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Horford helps Celtics get back on track

Aggressive Al Horford was on the floor Friday night for the Boston Celtics, a good sign for a Celtics team that has been battered by injuries. 

As the oldest member of the team, the 31-year-old’s leadership has to become more example-driven as well as existing in the spoken word.

CELTICS TALK PODCAST  - Smart's importance to C's, dissecting the East

Horford was on point for most of Friday’s 92-83 win over Orlando, a game that was far more lopsided in Boston’s favor than the final score might indicate.

The 6-foot-10 forward/center had a near double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds. 

What was more telling was that Horford took a team-high 18 shots from the field, as clear a sign as you will find that Horford’s mindset on Friday was to attack Orlando’s defense early and often. 

And while it’s true that the Magic are one of the worst teams in the NBA, that doesn’t diminish the way Horford executed the plays called by head coach Brad Stevens as Horford played the role of primary scorer more often than usual, instead of being a major facilitator.

Having missed Boston’s previous two games, Horford was admittedly concerned if the lay-off might affect his conditioning. 

“Wind-wise I felt good,” Horford told reporters after Friday night’s win. “A little rusty on offense. But defensively I felt great. I felt our team came out with energy; just a good win.” 

A win that became a lot easier to get with Aggressive Al on the floor. 

 Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds in Boston’s 92-83 win over Orlando.



Terry Rozier: He continues to provide the Celtics with really solid guard play, with all-star guard Kyrie Irving (left knee soreness) missing. Rozier had a game high-tying 17 points along with seven rebounds and five assists. 

Greg Monroe: The third quarter was when Monroe really began to take over the game. He finished with 17 points, 10 of which came in the third. 

Shelvin Mack: Not a lot to cheer about for Mack and the Magic who once again struggled in so many phases of the game. But Mack still managed to score 16 points. 



Al Horford: Having missed the two previous games, Horford was back in full force on Friday. He had 15 points on 6-for-18 shooting to go with nine rebounds

Boston rebounding: The Celtics control of the glass began from the outset and never really eased up. For the game, Boston grabbed 55 rebounds compared to just 40 by Orlando. 



Fourth-quarter Celtics: The only real blemish on an otherwise impressive performance by Boston, was the team’s overall play in the fourth quarter. Boston was outscored 31-17 and turned the ball over 10 times in the quarter.