In a move that pretty much shocked the hell out of me, the Celtics waived Rasheed Wallace yesterday. I always thought they were going to trade him if he decided to retire. Guess not. (ESPN)
The Boston Celtics announced Tuesday that they have waived Wallace after coming to a mutual agreement under which Wallace plans to retire.
“We would like to thank Rasheed for everything that he did for this team and organization last season,” said Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. “We would like to wish Rasheed and his family the best as they move on into the next phase of their lives. He will always be a member of the Celtics family.”
For teams in the luxury tax, trading for Sheed’s retiring contract would have brought $12 million off the books. Is that not at least a decent trade chip? At least enough to fetch somebody better than the dwindling bunch of veteran’s minimum guys? It is, right?
I think it’s likely that the Celtics owners didn’t want to buy Sheed out and then pay for someone else’s salary that would have matched Sheed’s contract. The owners normally have no conscience when it comes to spending money, but hear me out. Sheed’s contract was worth $6 million for next year. The luxury tax would have doubled that. That’s $12 million. If the Celtics traded Sheed, they would have been bringing in someone of similar salary and probably would have had to pay for Sheed’s buyout. That’s another couple million bucks, at least, on top of the $12 million. That’s $14 million. So the owners were either going to spend $14 million to trade Sheed or about $4 million (the buyout plus a minimum contract and the impending luxury tax) to waive him and sign a vet’s min guy. I don’t know about you, but if I’m the owners I’m choosing choice B unless a stud backup was going to be available in a trade. My guess is Danny Ainge determined no stud was going to be available and the owners settled for choice B, saving about $10 million in the process. Which kind of sucks, but makes a whole lot of sense.