Josh Howard is among the free agents the Celtics are interested in, according to Danny Ainge, but it seems almost impossible to acquire Howard. The Celtics come armed with only the vet’s minimum ($1.146 million) or some sort of creative trade likely involving Rasheed Wallace’s contract… but Howard can’t be traded until December. (NBA.com)
After using its mid-level exception on free agent Jermaine O’Neal, and not being able to use its biannual exception after using it on Marquis Daniels last season, the Celtics would only be able to offer Howard the veteran’s minimum of $1.146 million for next season.
Boston would like to use the contract of Rasheed Wallace, who has told the Celtics he will retire, to get a trade exception. If Boston sends Wallace’s contract to another team — which could remove the salary from its cap as long as Wallace stays retired — for a draft pick, the Celtics could get a trade exception for as much as the $6.3 million Wallace was due to receive.
The problem for Boston is that even if it could get that exception, the Wizards can’t execute a trade involving Howard until December under collective bargaining rules.
So how else could the C’s get Howard? Beg him to come for the min and pay him all-you-can-smoke under the table? I just don’t see a deal happening. I didn’t realize he couldn’t be traded for that long.