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Keith Bogans' contract earns him $5.1 million thanks to luck, CBA holes

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The Boston Celtics acquired Keith Bogans in a sign-and-trade as part of the deal that sent Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets. Somehow, he ended up with a huge salary in the process.


Boston Celtics guard Keith Bogans is guaranteed to earn $5,058,198 next season and incrementally more in the next two years, which are fully unguaranteed. Though he's a proven veteran most well-known as a gritty perimeter defender, his averages of 4.2 points and 1.6 rebounds last season with the Brooklyn Nets don't warrant such a pay increase from last year's salary of $854,389.

So what's the deal here? Mark Deeks of broke down every step in Bogans' last few seasons and why luck made him rich.

Bogans begins the 2013-14 season as a member of the Celtics because he was needed to match the large salaries of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry, who went to the Nets. His salary increase was needed in a sign-and-trade that helped those salary numbers match up.

Under the current collective bargaining agreement rules, such a large pay increase for a free agent part of a sign-and-trade deal was nearly impossible. For example, Bogans needed to be with Brooklyn for a year under the technicalities of CBA rules just to earn more than a million dollars in a sign-and-trade under the non-Bird exception.

But somehow, he qualified as an early-bird candidate and was able to sign a much larger contract worth the midlevel exception. The pay increase he received was possible because he was technically with the Nets for two full seasons before the sign-and-trade.

And here's the catch, from Deeks.

Bogans was signed to a guaranteed remainder-of-the-season minimum salary deal on February 1st 2012, yet he suffered a season-ending injury a week later, and was waived on February 14th. As we've seen in previous posts, partial seasons count as full seasons for Bird clock and years-of-experience purposes, so those thirteen days nonetheless count towards a Bird clock - nevertheless, the fact that he was waived would, you'd think, reset it again.

However, it doesn't. Not necessarily. Without signing an NBA contract with anyone else in the interim, Bogans re-signed with the Nets on July 19th 2012, and played the full season with the Nets without being waived again.

And because of some minor CBA holes, Bogans was technically with Brooklyn for two full seasons. Brooklyn was then able to sign him to a midlevel exception at the $5 million range before trading him.

Now, Bogans is costly to the Celtics but also acts as a valuable trade chip for a team that is in rebuilding mode. And best of all, Bogans became a rich man, even if by sheer luck.

For more details on the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, check out Larry Coon's NBA Salary Cap FAQ.

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