For a team that has their top 1-9 players and an additional 2 for 11 total already under contract, and projected to be enough under the apron to have full MLE or do a sign-and-trade, it's a very good place to be.
I haven't been able to find a good projection for where the luxury tax threshold may be next season, so it is not at all certain that they Celtics will have room to use the full MLE. If Jordan Crawford works out, Jason Terry could be the guy most likely to be viewed as expendable in a salary dump.
I know a lot of fans want to dump Bass, but dumping Bass and using the MLE to sign a replacement still leaves the Celtics in a spot where they have a three-big rotation of KG, new guy, and Sullinger, possibly augmented by Jeff Green playing the 4, rookies, and minimum salary guys. It's much easier to find a serviceable minimum salary guard/wing, rather than a big, so it would make more sense to trade a guard to be replaced with a minimum salary veteran and use the MLE on a big.
Of course, dump enough salary and the biannual exception comes into play.
Hmm, I'm trying to find the info, but I think I'm mistaken. I think a team under the apron CAN receive a player via sign-and-trade and still have the full mid-level at their disposal.
Personally, I'd try to consolidate the roster and acquire a sign-and-trade player. I've speculated that Jefferson and Josh Smith could be potential players. Hopefully we send out more salary than we receive, which would open up better flexibility to fill the rest of the roster.
I also expect that Ainge will try to trade Crawford in a salary dump move, and open the roster spot to use in a cheaper option.
It would be curious what Danny does with his first round pick... does he try to trade up? Does he try to trade the pick for a future one, or move out of the 1st round to the second round? Try to trade the pick in combination with one of our guards or Bass to acquire a player or to move up in the draft for cheaper roster alternatives?
I really don't know, but it'll be fun to speculate about all the nuances of the consequences of the new CBA, the hardcap, and being enough under that will give Ainge some flexibilit that may allow him to sign-and-trade for an impact player, still have full MLE at their disposal, and have the bi-annual at hand too if needed be.
We'll have to see, as I still don't understand everything, but Ainge should have an interesting off-season, and the potential for it to be another good one for him it's right at his grasps, he just has to game the system.