Christmas' contract in focus

September, 19, 2012
9/19/12
4:28
PM ET

The indispensable salary site ShamSports.com recently updated with additional details from Boston's summer moves. There are some intriguing tidbits, including confirmation that Kevin Garnett's three-year contract extension included one of only four no-trade clauses in the league (Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, and Tim Duncan the others). Also of note in Garnett's deal, only $6 million of the final year is guaranteed if waived by July 15, 2014.

Maybe more intriguing is the contract of first-year guard Dionte Christmas. According to ShamSports, the first season of the two-year deal is guaranteed for half ($236,800) of the first-year player minimum salary ($473,600). That hefty commitment, while not enough to cement his spot on the roster, certainly aids his cause.

Consider that fellow roster hopeful Jamar Smith has a similarly structured two-year deal (both second years are fully non-guaranteed), but Smith's first-year guarantee is only $25,000 if waived before November 15. That means the Celtics would have to swallow a lot harder to keep someone like Smith over Christmas.

The team has enough financial flexibility, even with a hard cap of $74.3 million in place after using the full value of the mid-level exception, that it could eat that guaranteed money if it felt someone outperformed Christmas in camp. That said, it appears Christmas is strongly positioned to secure one of the team's final spots as we prepare for camp to open later this month.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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