Basketball

Report: no plans for Celtics to use $17.1 million TPE

It’s been a busy morning. With reports that the Celtics are signing Danilo Gallinari with the taxpayer mid-level exception and trading for Malcolm Brogdon, President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens has made significant additions without subtracting much from a playoff rotation two wins away from a championship.

After depleting the back end of their bench sending Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith, Malik Fitts, Juwan Morgan, and Nik Stauskas to Indianapolis, Boston will most likely look to fill out their roster with veteran minimums and undrafted rookies with seven slots available. However, The Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy is reporting that the team has no plans to use what was once considered their biggest weapon heading into the offseason: the $17.1 million traded player exception generated from last summer’s Evan Fournier sign-and-trade that expires on July 17th.

As CelticsBlog’s Keith Smith notes:

There is a difference between paying the tax and paying the TAX. Right now, the Celtics are set to pay the tax. Will ownership really greenlight the TAX on a level of the Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets and LA Clippers?

If they will, then there are still a ton of options available to Boston via trade. Brad Stevens has shown a great willingness to deal first-round picks, so that also makes things easier to put together trade-wise.

Smith has Boston roughly $18.8 million over the tax line and ownership has already signaled an appetite to spend into the tax for a contender. Well, for what it’s worth, the Celtics are now the betting favorite to win the championship (+550) next season per our friends over at DraftKings. Murphy reports that Boston is still looking to sign a backup big and have eyes on former Wizard Thomas Bryant.

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