Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“I’m just waiting,” he said Saturday. “I’m working every day. I’m going game by game and just waiting to see what will happen, but I don’t really talk about it. My agent knows I’m extremely focused on the season and I’ll let the things that are above me, I’ll let the people that control that, control that. I’m just trying to control the things I can control and play basketball and worry about the season.”
It is rare for teams to decline team options on rookie contracts, mostly because the dollar amount is usually not especially large, teams can maintain control of the player in case of a breakout season, and it saves them from giving up on a prospect too early.
But Yabusele’s situation could be slightly more unclear. He turns 23 in December and has shown glimpses of potential, but he has not shown much more than that yet. He averaged 2.4 points and 1.6 rebounds in 33 games as a rookie last season, and this year has played in four games, averaging 1 point and 0.8 rebounds.
Oh what to do with Yabu…
The Celtics have two days to figure that out. Normally, paying a third-year player with Yabusele’s unique skills $3.1 million while you figure out how to use him is not a huge deal.
Boston, though, no longer has the luxury of waiting because they now have to be mindful of the luxury tax. Keeping Yabusele next season could mean at least $4.5 million in additional luxury tax payments, meaning the Celtics would essentially be paying $7.6 million to see if Yabu could become a meaningful contributor next season.
Wyc Grousbeck and the rest of the ownership group have expressed a willingness to pay whatever it takes to win a title. That’s why this year’s team might not change the way some of us, myself included, anticipated over the summer. Marcus Morris is a prime candidate, financially, to be moved to keep the Celtics under the tax line this season, but he’s been of the team’s most consistently good players so far. Yabusele and Semi Ojeleye have been seen as guys who, theoretically, could give some of what Mook is providing, but neither has been able to step up.
So that just means Morris is much more likely to spend the full season in Boston, meaning the Celtics will likely be taxpayers this season. That just puts them one step closer to a repeater tax, which will be tough to swallow.
As an aside… here’s how bad the repeater tax can be. Instead of paying $4.5 million in taxes for Yabu, the Celtics would pay $7.5 million… and that’s just if Yabu was the only salary over the tax line. It gets worse from there.
Boston is already deep. They have a bunch of decisions to make with rotation players already (no one is really talking about Daniel Theis’ impending restricted free agency), and they’ve got a rookie in Robert Williams who has looked much more promising, albeit in extremely limited minutes.
More and more, it’s not looking great for Yabusele’s future in Boston. We’ll have to see what the Celtics do in the next couple of days.
Page 2: The Boston Celtics were all in on the Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox are guaranteed to be honored at the Celtics game tomorrow night.
With a parade seemingly scheduled for Wednesday morning, the whole squad will be in town getting ready for the celebration. With the Celtics being the only home team in action tomorrow night, it seems like the perfect place to let Boston fans pre-celebrate the celebration.
And there will be added motivation to host the World Champion Red Sox… it’s to give this team a little taste of what it’s like to celebrate a title in Boston.
I can already see Mookie Betts walking out of the tunnel with the trophy over his head and everyone in the Garden losing their damn minds. I can already hear the quotes after the game with the guys seeing a Boston team celebrate at the Garden and how much they want that too.
It will be an awesome moment and a continuation of the amazing camaraderie between the Boston pro franchises. I can’t wait to see it.
In case you missed this….
I’ve seen Rondo pass up layups before, but nothing quite like this. I know he was probably thinking about going for the three to tie… but just take the two and foul there.
Rondo is a basketball savant, but even savants have brain farts, and that was one of the worst I’ve ever seen.
The rest of the links: