Report: Heat will pay Zoran Dragic’s full salary, Celtics will waive him

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The Celtics were at the right place at the right time, getting the Heat’s 2020 second-round pick in exchange for taking Zoran Dragic and his $1,706,250 salary.

Turns out, the trade was even better for Boston than it appeared.

Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe:

Essentially, the Celtics got a 2020 second-rounder for nothing. They don’t even have to pay Dragic.

There’s even a very slight chance a team claims Dragic on waivers, and Boston could use its cash from Miami as pure profit.

Dragic would have cost the Heat more than his full salary in luxury-tax payments. So, it’s worth it for them to pay a team – in money and a draft pick – to take Dragic offer their hands.

Why did the Celtics still have that cap space?

They hadn’t yet officially completed the David Lee-Gerald Wallace trade. Order of transactions matters. If they had made the Golden State trade already, the Celtics wouldn’t have had space for Dragic. The Warriors, who stand to save a lot of money, didn’t mind waiting.

But with Boston’s cap space used, that trade is now official.

Celtics release:

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have acquired forward/center David Lee from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for forward Gerald Wallace and guard/forward Chris Babb.

Babb’s contract is unguaranteed. I expect the Warriors to release him, though the Celtics could have just done that themselves. Maybe Golden State will bring him to training camp.