You’re the Boston Celtics, one of the most renowned franchises in sports. Thanks to your history and your market, the brand and fan base is as solid as they come.
Six years ago, you spent heavily on veterans Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, who teamed with previous draft picks Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo to shake the team out of a dormant period and bring you a 17th NBA title. You never got another, but you came close, consistently contending and selling out the building. Your club, valued by Forbes at $391 million when Pierce and Garnett came over, is now worth over $700 million.
But of course, age happens. Allen is in Miami. Coach COH +1.26% Doc Rivers is headed to L.A. Pierce and Garnett are 37 and 35, respectively, with $40 million left on their combined contracts, about half of it guaranteed. You know the run is over, but how do you get out from under the bloated veteran contracts and look to the future? Answer: you take advantage of a franchise that doesn’t have your history, one whose focus is selling buzz and building up its new fan base, risks be damned.