Brooklyn Nets v Indiana Pacers

Keith Bogans will make nearly $5.1 million Boston next season


Sometimes it’s good to be trade filler.

Keith Bogans is a “3 and D” NBA roll player who has stuck in the league for a decade, a guy who averaged just 4.2 points a game last season for the Nets, but he defended well and started 23 games for them.

He made $1.2 million for that role last season, a fair price.

But he’s about to get a huge pay raise as he moves to Boston for the coming season. Why? Not his play, it’s all about the fun of the NBA salary cap and making trades, which Mark Deeks of the fantastic site ShamSports breaks down for us.

The rebuilding Boston Celtics insisted upon Jason Terry (and, primarily, his salary) being included in the Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett trade with the Nets. Brooklyn could afford it and were prepared to pay it, but, in light of all their recent roster turnover, they didn’t have the necessarily medium-size expiring contracts that are so useful in trade scenarios that would have facilitated it. In order to provide the necessary salary to match, then, they had to sign and trade someone.

Into the breach steps Bogans, who will now earn $5,058,198 in 2013-14.

That salary is fully guaranteed for the first year. T

This is a three-year deal where the Celtics can get out of the next two without penalty. You can assume they want to, but the Celtics will be making a lot of other trades this year and guys making that mid-level kind of salary are valuable trade chips. Which means he could get moved and that salary picked up for another season because of its value as a trade value.

And for that, you get a few threes and some solid defense.

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
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James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.