One thing the Boston Celtics had going for them, at least through a fans’ eyes, during their recent stretch was the fact they own the biggest trade exception in NBA history.
The Celtics acquired $28.5 million this offseason after signing and trading Gordon Hayward to the Charlotte Hornets.
It was widely believed the Celtics would use that exception on a player ahead of the March 25 NBA trade deadline. Well, those hopes may have been taken a hit based on comments from Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck, who appeared on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Felger & Mazz” radio show Wednesday.
Grousbeck essentially said there is no guarantee the team uses that exception before the deadline, as it could ultimately wait until the offseason.
“We are under a cap situation,” Grousbeck told the radio station. “We are hard-capped at the moment like literally can’t spend more than X-amount, which is why that TPE is probably going to be more useful — maybe we can use part of it within the hard cap at the trade deadline and if it’s available to us and we want to do it, weâll do it if the right deal is there. Otherwise, itâs something we will look more to the offseason for.”
Grousbeck explained a bit more.
“Yeah, it’s a hard cap. Once you make a certain signing or two, then you get hard-capped. We’re hard-capped this season. We’re not hard-capped next season. And so, we’re working within those constraints. That’s just part of the (Collective Bargaining Agreement).”
Boston’s trade exception will last for a full NBA calendar year. The signing of big man Tristan Thompson for the full mid-level exception this offseason, as reported by MassLive’s Brian Robb, triggered a hard cap or “apron” for the Celtics at $138 million.
Bostonâs payroll currently is $117 million, meaning the C’s have the ability to add $21 million to their roster and still stay under the hard cap.
To some extent, though, it means the below .500 Celtics, who have lost 13 of their last 20, could be looking to win with the group as currently constructed.