NBA Conference Finals: How much do the Celtics and Pacers players make?

The NBA Conference Finals often showcase the best teams in the league, with star-studded rosters that come with hefty salary figures. For the 2023-2024 season, the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers have built their rosters with a mix of high-paid superstars and strategically valuable role players. Understanding the salary breakdown of these teams provides insight into how they’ve managed to assemble competitive squads under the constraints of the NBA salary cap.

Boston Celtics Roster Salary Breakdown

The Boston Celtics, known for their storied history and recent success, have invested heavily in their roster to remain championship contenders. As of the 2023-2024 season, the Celtics’ payroll reflects their commitment to retaining top talent and adding key pieces.

1. Jayson Tatum: The centerpiece of the Celtics’ roster, Jayson Tatum, is in the prime of his career and is compensated accordingly. Tatum signed a five-year, $163 million max contract extension that began in the 2021-2022 season. For the 2023-2024 season, Tatum’s salary is approximately $32.6 million. His scoring, versatility, and leadership are critical to the Celtics’ success.

2. Jaylen Brown: Another cornerstone of the Celtics, Jaylen Brown, is in the second year of his four-year, $107 million contract. His salary for the 2023-2024 season is about $26.7 million. Brown’s two-way play and athleticism make him an invaluable asset to the team.

3. Marcus Smart: Known for his defensive prowess and heart, Marcus Smart is a key figure in Boston’s lineup. He signed a four-year, $77 million contract extension, with a salary of $19.2 million for the 2023-2024 season. Smart’s leadership and defensive skills are critical to the Celtics’ identity.

4. Al Horford: The veteran big man rejoined the Celtics and brings experience and versatility to the frontcourt. Horford’s deal, which is a two-year, $20 million contract, pays him approximately $10 million for the current season. His ability to stretch the floor and defend multiple positions adds significant value.

5. Derrick White: Acquired via trade, Derrick White is an integral part of the backcourt rotation. White’s contract is a four-year, $70 million deal, with a salary of around $17.5 million for the 2023-2024 season. His playmaking and defense have been valuable additions.

6. Robert Williams III: Emerging as a defensive anchor, Robert Williams III signed a four-year, $54 million contract extension. His salary for this season is roughly $13.5 million. Williams’ shot-blocking and rebounding are key components of the Celtics’ interior defense.

The Celtics’ roster is rounded out by several players on mid-level and minimum contracts, contributing to the overall team dynamics and providing depth. The combination of high salaries for their star players and strategic investments in role players puts the Celtics’ total payroll around $160 million for the season.

Indiana Pacers Roster Salary Breakdown

The Indiana Pacers, aiming to re-establish themselves as contenders, have structured their roster with a blend of young talent and seasoned veterans. Their payroll strategy reflects a balance between developing future stars and maintaining competitive performance.

1. Tyrese Haliburton: A rising star acquired in a trade, Tyrese Haliburton is seen as the future of the Pacers. Haliburton is still on his rookie contract, which means his salary is relatively modest compared to his contributions. For the 2023-2024 season, he is earning around $4.3 million. Haliburton’s playmaking and scoring abilities are crucial for the team’s offense.

2. Myles Turner: A cornerstone of the Pacers’ defense, Myles Turner signed a four-year, $80 million contract extension. His salary for the 2023-2024 season is approximately $20 million. Turner’s shot-blocking and ability to stretch the floor with his shooting make him a valuable asset.

3. Buddy Hield: Known for his shooting prowess, Buddy Hield is an essential part of the Pacers’ offensive strategy. Hield is on a four-year, $94 million contract, with a salary of around $23.5 million for the current season. His three-point shooting helps space the floor for the Pacers.

4. Malcolm Brogdon: Acquired to add stability to the backcourt, Malcolm Brogdon signed a four-year, $85 million deal with the Pacers. His salary for this season is roughly $21.3 million. Brogdon’s versatility and leadership are vital to the team’s success.

5. T.J. Warren: Returning from injury, T.J. Warren is on a one-year, $12 million contract. His salary for the 2023-2024 season is the full $12 million. Warren’s scoring ability is a significant boost when he is healthy.

6. Chris Duarte: As a promising young player, Chris Duarte is on his rookie contract, earning around $3.8 million this season. Duarte’s potential and growth are important for the Pacers’ future.

The Pacers’ roster includes other players on various contracts, from rookie deals to veteran minimums, providing depth and flexibility. The total salary for the Pacers’ roster is approximately $135 million for the 2023-2024 season.

Comparison and Salary Cap Implications

The NBA salary cap for the 2023-2024 season is set at $136 million, with a luxury tax threshold of $165 million. Both the Celtics and Pacers have navigated these financial boundaries in constructing their rosters.

Celtics: With a payroll around $160 million, the Celtics are near the luxury tax threshold. Their investment in top-tier talent like Tatum and Brown reflects their championship aspirations. The luxury tax implications mean the team will face additional financial penalties but are willing to pay these to maintain a competitive roster.

Pacers: With a payroll of about $135 million, the Pacers are just below the salary cap. This positioning allows them some flexibility to make moves during the season if needed. The focus on developing young talent like Haliburton while maintaining experienced players like Turner and Hield indicates a balanced approach to competing now and building for the future.

In conclusion, the salary structures of the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers highlight different strategic approaches within the constraints of the NBA salary cap. The Celtics have invested heavily in star players to contend for championships immediately, while the Pacers balance current competitiveness with the development of future stars. These strategies reflect each team’s goals and the financial realities of maintaining a competitive roster in today’s NBA.

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