With the Kevin Garnett deal done, league and team sources have disclosed the final breakdown of his contract numbers which, as of now, will push the Celtics into luxury tax territory next season.
Factoring the trade kicker into the equation, the three-year extension will cost a total of $60 million. The actual extension comes to $51 million—$14.6 million for the 2009-10 season, $17 million for 2010-2011 and $19.4 million for 2011-12.
But the cap numbers for Garnett increase by $1.8 million for each of the five years now remaining on his contract, evenly spreading the trade kicker and bonuses over the length of the deal. As a result, the Celtics will pay Garnett $105 million for the next five years ($23.8 million for next season, $24.8 million for 2008-09, $16.4 million for 2009-10, $18.8 for 2010-11, $21.2 for 2011-12).
Those big numbers mean that with Garnett added to the mix with big-money teammates Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, the Celtics payroll stands at $67,996,087 with 9 players under contract. That figure already surpasses the 2007-08 luxury tax threshold ($67.865 million) with four more players needed on the roster to meet the league minimum of 13.
While Boston entering luxury tax territory next season is not good news for team accountants, it may make ownership more willing to spend a considerable amount to acquire free agents like Brevin Knight and Dikembe Mutombo, early favorites in the race to fill out the roster. Organizations will try to avoid the luxury tax at all costs, but once it becomes inevitable, it doesn’t always make sense to still try and save money at the expense of not adding the right players