In a surprise to no one, Paul Pierce, the former Celtics captain, and second all-time leading scorer, will have his No. 34 retired by the C's sometime this season, C's co-owner Steve Pagliuca tells the Boston Globe.
Pierce signed a ceremonial one-day contract with the Celtics last month so he could officially retire with the Green, with whom he played 15 seasons and helped bring a 17th NBA title to Boston in 2008. Pierce was traded, along with Kevin Garnett, to the Brooklyn Nets in 2013 in a deal that's still paying dividends for Boston.
Pierce final TD Garden appearance as a player came this past Super Bowl Sunday, when he hit a final 3-pointer for the Los Angeles Clippers in their loss to the Celtics.
No. 34 going to the Garden rafters led WBZ Radio's Adam Kaufman to speculate which game would be appropriate for a Pierce ceremony.
The Celtics dealt Avery Bradley in order to sign Gordon Hayward and stay under the salary cap, but is a return to the luxury tax inevitable?
C’s managing partner Steve Pagliuca told the Boston Herald that the team is willing to spend what it has to it means putting a championship-caliber product on the court. That means next summer could indeed see them enter luxury tax land.
“I don’t know if it’s inevitable, but if we feel it’s going to help us win a championship, then we will,” Pagliuca told the Herald. “We have a history of doing what we need to do to win.
“But you have to be careful -- if you sign people to bad contracts, it’s going to preclude you from signing other players. But I’m very happy with how it’s gone.”
The Celtics paid luxury taxes in its recent heyday of having star players Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
Boston already has two players on max deals in Hayward and Al Horford. Isaiah Thomas could become a third when his contract expires after the coming season.
The tax rates for non-repeaters, as the Celtics are given that they have not been in the luxury tax for three of the past four seasons, are as follows:
Team salary above tax level Tax rate
$1-$4.99 million $1.50
$5 million-$9.99 million $1.75
$10 million-$14.99 million $2.50
$15 million-$19.99 million $3.25
$20 million+ $3.75
(Tax rate increases 50 cents for each additional $5 million.)
On this episode of The Best of Boston Sports Tonight…
0:41 - Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca, who was in the room when the ping pong balls were selected, joins BST to talk about the excitement of getting the #1 overall pick and the bright future for the Celtics.
4:31 - Danny Ainge talks with Mike Gorman to discuss how getting the #1 pick changes his job, what type of player he is looking for, and other Celtics prospects that could help the team in the future.
7:54 - Chris Mannix talks with Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck, who represented the Celtics on stage at the lottery, about how he was feeling during the process and how surreal the last few days have been.
9:34 - Tom Curran, Michael Holley, and Kayce Smith break down the job Danny Ainge has done in his tenure as Celtics GM and how much faith they have in him.
13:16 - Tom Giles and Tim Welsh discuss the prospects in this year’s NBA draft, who will go where, and if Markelle Fultz will be the clear cut number 1 pick.