COMMENTARY | Behind the scenes of the massive trade between the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets, many small details had to be ironed out. Salaries had to be matched, which is always difficult with trades involving a lot of players. This is why Boston ended up with Keith Bogans, and why they are stuck paying him around $5 million per season.
To most, the major part of this deal for Boston is the three first round draft picks. Bogans, Kris Humphries, and Gerald Wallace probably don't do much for this team in the long-term, and were mostly acquired in order to send away Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry.
MarShon Brooks was the only young player that Boston acquired in the deal. He can clearly score, but there are too many other holes in his game to claim that he is more valuable than the draft picks.
However, it now seems that there is another important part of the deal that many have largely ignored.
The Boston Globe is reporting that as a part of the deal, the Celtics also have a trade exception worth slightly over $10 million.
This probably won't come in handy in the near future, as the Celtics appear to have almost a full roster going into next season. At this point, it might be foolish to use it going into a rebuilding year.
Looking forward, however, this trade exception could prove to be just as valuable as the draft picks.
According to the report, it is set to expire on July 12 of next summer, just two days after free agency officially begins. As the Boston Globe points out, however, it would not be able to be used in a free agency signing. It could be utilized through a sign-and-trade, which could be a reasonable alternative.
Come next summer, teams may frantically be looking to dump salaries. The 2014 free agent class could feature LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Luol Deng, Dirk Nowitzki, Paul George, Danny Granger, DeMarcus Cousins, and Rudy Gay. It is important to note that some of these players simply have options to opt-out, or are restricted free agents. Still, that is quite the impressive list of stars who could be on the market.
Regardless, many teams will be looking to clear space for the chance to land some of these stars. This puts the Celtics in a position of power. Teams are often willing to part ways with young, cheap talent as the price of dumping bad contracts. With the luxury of the trade exception, the Celtics could be more than willing to absorb a bad contract or two if it means being able to bring back young talent.
Or, Danny Ainge could try to make a big splash through a sign-and-trade using the exception. This might be a little more difficult, but it's a viable option nonetheless.
It appears that Danny Ainge has set up his team to go through a quick rebuild. They already have some young pieces, and a seemingly high 2014 draft pick in a loaded class could mean that the 2013-2014 season could be the only true rebuilding year. This trade exception could prove to be huge, particularly if Ainge uses his leverage properly.
While this trade exception was overlooked by many, it could prove to be one of the most important parts of the deal with the Brooklyn Nets.
Mark lives in the Boston area and has been covering the Celtics for 3 years. He has been featured on Fox Sports Yardbarker, Fox Sports, and Sports Illustrated "Hot Clicks", and has been published on Celtics 24/7, Bleacher Report, and Sports-Kings.
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