Well, here we are. I was avoiding making an article on this topic because of just how confusing it is. Sadly the lack of recent news revolving around my favorite team makes it hard to avoid putting something out explaining it. It is more complicated than saying we received a $28.5 million trade exception from the Hornets. Allow me to explain.
At first, it seemed as though the loss of Gordon Hayward was going to leave the Celtics with nothing. The Hornets swooped in and gave him an extremely generous contract to take him away from his previously projected landing spots (Pacers/Celtics). It ended up being false because the Hornets could not make up enough money to make the signing work and needed to give the Celtics a trade exception. $28.2 million that can be used in a trade to acquire a player or players with large salaries the Celtics would otherwise be unable to get. The Celtics also have a few other trade exceptions that come from the Kanter trade, and Vincent Poirier deals each under $5 million.
Altogether the Celtics have over $33 million in trade exceptions that expire a year after they form. Meaning, if the Celtics don't make moves during the season, then they can be a player in free agency next offseason. They can not use that money to outright sign guys, but they can do a sign and trade with another team and give them the exception like the Hornets just did with them. Also, the Celtics can only use one exception at a time resulting in the max they can get out of one trade being $28.2 million.
Danny Ainge has plenty of options ahead of him. The only way they end up being losers at the end of this is if the exception expires without any moves made. There are plenty of trades to be put together and at virtually no expense to the Celtics. They better get something out of this to keep the initial thought of losing Gordon Hayward from being true.
Author: Daniel O'Donovan