Why The C’s Shouldn’t Trade for Nocioni
Posted by Brian Robb on Nov 17, 2009
The latest on Nocioni trade rumblings come courtesy of Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.COM:
Two league sources contacted Tuesday said Boston is unlikely to get involved in such a deal.
The deal, according to ESPN, would sent Philadelphia’s Samuel Dalembert to Sacramento, with Brian Scalabrine, Tony Allen and Sacramento’s Kenny Thomas all going to Philadelphia while the Celtics would land Nocioni.
If it were to happen, the deal would be news to Nocioni’s agent, George Bass.
“I haven’t heard about a deal being done involving Andres,” Bass said in a phone interview this morning.
Celtics Hub’s Take: Zach Lowe had some initial thoughts on the deal this morning. Here is a portion of his take:
My gut reaction: This would be a good deal for the C’s. Yes, it’s a 3-for-1 deal, but when big games come around, the rotation is only going to go so deep. The most relevant skill leaving Boston in this (wildly theoretical) trade is Scal’s three-point shooting, and Nocioni can approximate that.
We all knew Ainge would try and use the Allen/Scal/Giddens expiring deals as trade chips. People tend to get carried away dreaming up wonderful deals, but $7M in expiring deals linked to role players (and in the case of TA and Giddens, “role players” is generous at this point) isn’t going to net you much more than a useful guy like Noc.
Now, I agree with Zach in theory here. In the short term, this deal is a no brainer. Nocioni can shoot the 3 ball well, plays pesky defense and would bolster an all ready terrific bench to become arguably the best second unit in the league. With that said, I am not at all surprised about the Celtics reservations about this deal as I share them, due to the long term implications. A closer look at those, after the jump:
I spent a good amount of time breaking down the C’s future salary cap situation after the Rajon Rondo extension earlier this month. A breakdown of how much money The Celtics have all ready committed next year, in that piece:
Paul Pierce: 21.5 million (player option)
Kevin Garnett: 18.8 million
Rasheed Wallace: 6.3 million
Kendrick Perkins: 4.9 million
Glen Davis: 3 million
Rajon Rondo: 9.1 million* (estimated)
Total salary committed: 63.6 million
When you throw in Nocioni’s 7 million dollar cap number for next year, that makes over 70 million dollars committed to just 7 players for next year. Grant it, those are 7 strong players to build a team around but with a luxury tax number likely to fall between 62-65 million dollars next year, The C’s will be very hard pressed to fill the gaps on the team.
Knowing this, the biggest problem I have with Nocioni coming in, is that it significantly decreases the probability that Ray Allen would be able to be brought back for next year and beyond. It’s too early to estimate exactly what the market will be for Allen after this year, but early predictions have been coming in at around 7-10 million dollars per year, more than a 50% paycut from this year.
If Nocioni comes to town and the C’s are all ready on the books for 70 million dollars, would Ainge be able to justify spending another 8-10 million on Ray, when he still needed to fill out half the roster? That would be roughly 80 million dollars committed to just 8 players if Allen were to sign at that price, leaving the team 15 million dollars over the luxury tax with 5 players still left to sign. For an old team that could use some depth to keep their stars minutes down, that’s not a good spot to be in.
For a sense of perspective, the team’s total salary this year is 84.5 million (5th highest in the league) at last count. This means Wyc Grousbeck and company are anteing up close to 100 million dollars in players salaries, once you include the luxury tax dollar for dollar penalty with the luxury tax standing at 69 million.
Now if Wyc wants to open the checkbook and sign Ray while filling out the rest of the roster adequately for another 10 million dollars, I’d be all for it, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t see it happening when a 85-90 million dollar payroll up against a 65 million dollar luxury tax would mean the team is paying at least 105 million dollars in total salaries, a number that just doesn’t seem feasible in this economy, for this team.
For that reason, I would would be opposed to this Nocioni deal, as it was severely hamper this aging’s team flexibility long term.I don’t think the team could afford to have both Ray Allen and Andres Nocioni here next year. Given the choice of those players, I would want Ray for next year. And given the latest surrounding these rumors, it sounds like Danny Ainge does too.