The deadline to use the Amnesty Clause in 2013 has passed, which leaves only 11 players that can be released that way by NBA teams in 2014, with the Chicago Bulls (Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer), Memphis Grizzlies (Mike Conley, Zach Randolph) and the Oklahoma City Thunder (Nick Collison, Kevin Durant, Kendrick Perkins) the only teams with more than one potential candidate.
This was the third offseason since the new CBA was signed, and up until now 20 teams have used the Amnesty Clause to save some money. They still pay the salary, but the money is taken off the books, and doesn’t count against the cap, be it for luxury tax reasons or in order to get out of a bad deal which prevented teams from adding players. Teams amnestied $56 million worth of contracts in 2013, down from the $136 million in 2012 and $206 million in 2011.
Thunder – Collison, Durant, Perkins
Kevin Durant has $56.8 million left on his deal, and there is simply no way the Thunder use the clause on the best scorer in the NBA. Collison is making only $4.8 million over the next two years, which makes him a very unlikely candidate. As for Perkins – another bad season and a disappointing playoff will mean the Thunder might elect to let go of his $9.6 million salary for 2014-2015, although it won’t get them under the cap.
Chicago Bulls – Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah
Carlos Boozer has been the name most mentioned when it comes to the amnesty clause over the last couple of years, but despite being owed $32.1 million over the next two seasons, the Bulls keep passing on that option, mostly because even though he’s under performing, there aren’t any power forward available to bring to the table what Boozer does. As for Noah, he’s probably the team’s most important player after Rose, making him worth every penny of the $36 million he’s making over the next three seasons.
Memphis Grizzlies – Mike Conley, Zach Randolph
The Grizzlies are constantly trying to avoid the luxury tax which is why they got rid of Rudy Gay. No chance it happens with Mike Conley, who is making $34.7 million for the next four seasons, while Randolph, who makes $16.5 million on a player option in 2014-2015, has a slightly better chance of getting slapped with the Amnesty Clause, but that will only happen if he has a very bad season in 2013-2014, and the Memphis don’t see a future with the current roster when it comes to making a title run.
Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks – Horford is the team’s best player, and it’s not going to happen with him making a very reasonable $12 million a season through 2015-2016.
Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics – Rondo is more likely to be traded than amnestied, with his deal being worth a very sensible $24 million for the next couple of seasons.
John Salmons, Sacramento Kings – Salmons is due to make $7 million in 2014-2015, which the Kings should try and get out of after his terrible performances over the last couple of seasons.
Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs – No way this is happening, with Parker making $12.5 million a year and constantly being one of the best players, not just point guards, in the NBA.