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Can C’s afford to keep Hauser long-term? Salary cap guru weighs in

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Can C’s afford to keep Hauser long-term? Salary cap guru weighs in originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Sam Hauser will be back with the Boston Celtics next season. The sharpshooter’s long-term future with the team, however, remains uncertain.

The Celtics exercised Hauser’s $2.1 million team option on Saturday. According to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe, Boston is expected to begin negotiating a contract extension with the 26-year-old forward when he becomes extension-eligible on July 9. He is eligible to earn as much as a four-year, $78 million deal.

If the two sides can’t come to an agreement, Hauser will become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Keeping him around long-term could be tricky with the NBA’s new luxury tax rules, so our Chris Forsberg had salary cap expert Ryan Bernardoni on the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast to discuss the financial implications of signing Hauser to a hefty contract.

🔊 Celtics Talk: Crunching the numbers on Celtics’ elite roster with cap guru Ryan Bernardoni Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

“If you add Sam Hauser, who I think is going to make more than $10 million next year … it’s an $82 million commitment for one year to add Sam Hauser to that starting position,” Bernardoni explained. “If Al Horford wants to come back on a minimum, wonderful. If he wants some amount more than that or if he retires and you want to replace him with somebody else — and again, because of the apron, you’re talking about minimums. But if you’re talking about $2.5 million minimums — $2.5 million x 7 — you’re talking about guys who are $20 million minimum players just to fill out your roster. And so that $150 million very quickly, even signing minimum guys, gets up to the high $200 millions.

“If you’re talking about Hauser, you’re talking about $300-and-something million dollars in single-year luxury taxes and then potentially that carrying forward another year. So barring an ownership group coming in and saying, ‘Listen, if we’re going to pay $5 billion for the team anyway, what difference does it make if we pay $6 billion?’ it’s hard to see them continuing on and paying all that. And it would certainly be unprecedented for anybody in league history not just in raw dollars, but also in what probably matters most which is luxury tax as a percent of the salary cap.

“… Once you’re talking about a $330 million luxury tax, it’s out of scale with anything that’s ever happened before, which is why you look at it and you say, probably not gonna happen.”

Also in the episode: