I am surprised by this (willing to pay the tax for Smart). I am surprised Ainge said anything one way or the other.
Per Chris Forsberg
ESPN Staff Writer
Signing Smart at anything more than the qualifying offer would almost certainly push Boston into the luxury tax this season, but Ainge suggested the team is ready to pay to field a title contender.
"It's my job to be fiscally responsible, but we will pay the tax," Ainge said. "We plan on being a taxpayer for sure."
Well, technically Danny didn't say that he was "willing to pay the tax for Smart". He doesn't even say for sure that they plan on being a tax payer this coming season. Just that they will pay the luxury tax and that they plan on being a taxpayer.
But that could mean next season.
It's typical Ainge. Vague and non-committal.
That was my take, too. I get frustrated by the media’s lack of follow up. All we needed was a “This season?” Otherwise, the quote means virtually nothing.
He was talking about this season though. There was a question before the comment.
I just watched the Ainge media scrum and I didn't get the sense Danny was saying he was willing to go into the tax this season. Said Cs would be taxpayers, but that's hardly a revelation. Would be amazed if Ainge would answer any question that pinned him down to a certain action.
Would also be amazed if Danny did go into the tax just to sign Smart. Trade or stretch someone to make more room under the luxury tax to sign Smart? Sure. Sign Smart and go into the tax by a few million? Not a chance in hell. That would be stupid financially and these guys aren't stupid.
I like what Ainge's statement portends. They're going for it now, they want to win the championship this year. And if Smart would be an integral part of that then it'd be penny wise and pound foolish not to pay him a market rate-ish number just to avoid the tax by a few million and fend off the penalty for an extra year. Win now. This year.
I think its poor fiscal management if you pay Smart so much you go into the luxury tax this year. And by that I even mean paying Smart to the point of being in the tax and not being able to dump enough salary before the end of the year to be out of the tax.
Yes, the one year of a small amount of tax won't kill you this year. But the repeater tax penalty 3 and 4 years down the road with big money going out to Irving, Brown, Tatum, and a resigned Horford on top of the salaries of Smart, Rozier, and some vets plus the high draft pick next year, means tens of millions of tax dollars that come one year earlier than they had to be.
Go for it this year but be fiscally intelligent and don't go over that luxury tax threshold this year. Those extra tens of millions of penalties coming one year earlier would all be due to giving a defensive minded, bench role player, that can't shoot a contract that was an major overpay.
Not smart, imo (pun intended)!!!