By Keith P Smith
Have you ever been having a great day already and you have even more to look forward to later, but there is something nagging at you in the back of your brain? That something isn’t quite enough to ruin your day, but it’s a kind of constant worry that’s just sort of floating around the edges your enjoyment. This is sort of the position the Boston Celtics are in right now.
Boston had a great season in 2018, and there is even more excitement in store for 2019. The team should be back to full health, with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward joining the group that came within one win of the NBA Finals. Yet, there is this constant worry about the luxury tax, especially the more punitive repeater tax. It’s not going to ruin the upcoming season, but it is something nagging at the back of Celtics fans’ brains.
CelticsBlog already covered the prospects of Boston being a tax team in 2019. It’s somewhat likely that Danny Ainge and Celtics ownership won’t be able to duck paying the luxury tax if they keep this group largely intact. Unless they let Marcus Smart walk or Smart simply signs his qualifying offer, Boston will probably finish the year over the tax line. This would mark the first time the Celtics have paid the tax since 2013, the final year of the Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett run. Boston dropped out of the tax picture after trading Pierce and Garnett to Brooklyn that summer, and the teamhasn’t been back in position to pay the tax since...