The NBA instituted a more prohibitive luxury tax, which begins with hard “repeater penalties” for persistent taxpayers next season, as a means to control the likes of New York and Los Angeles stockpiling stars.
The tax was never meant to keep a marginal player off a roster or to dissuade a team from signing a useful backup to fill out its bench. But that may be exactly the fallout in Boston.
The Celtics could use Kendall Marshall, the pass-first point guard recently waived by the Washington Wizards. Marshall, the 13th overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft, would give the Celtics a natural point guard — albeit one that can’t shoot a lick — which they lack with Rajon Rondo sidelined.
Marshall coming to the Celtics is unlikely, however, due to what it would mean to the team’s payroll.
“The Celtics would likely be interested in Marshall if his salary didn’t push them above the luxury tax and make them a repeat offender, something ownership desperately wants to avoid during this rebuilding phase,” Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe reports.
Marshall, 22, struggled to get off the bench in Phoenix as a rookie behind Goran Dragic. With the team trading for Eric Bledsoe last offseason, playing time became even harder to come by for Marshall. The Suns cut their losses by sending Marshall to Washington along with Marcin Gortat, and the Wizards promptly waived him.