Who Should NBA Teams Use the Amnesty Clause On

The most incredible out for teams in the new NBA agreement (still not completely approved) from bad contracts is the amnesty clause, giving franchises a chance to mark off a player from the salary cap to free up money for new signings.

Problem is, no one is really sure what the Amnesty clause means exactly. The league’s version is this – Each team permitted to waive 1 player prior to any season of the CBA and have 100% of the player’s salary removed from team salary for Cap and Tax purposes. Kind of vague, isn’t it? The excellent The Point Forward Blog helps with a little addition – Each team permitted to waive 1 player prior to any season of the CBA (only for contracts in place at the inception of the CBA) and have 100% of the player’s salary removed from team salary for Cap and Tax purposes.

Meaning – Teams can use the amnesty clause on a player on their rosters right now, not someone who they acquired via trade AFTER the new deal kicks in. Problems is the clause hasn’t been exactly hashed out between the sides, and it’s details might change by next week by December 8. You could also interpret ‘in place’ differently. Meaning the contract right now. Meaning even if a team acquires a bad contract, it can still waive it off.

So who will use the Amnesty Cut? The Cleveland Cavaliers, who are in obvious rebuilding. The new deal pretty much helps teams in their rebuild Who will get the cut? Probably Baron Davis, who is owed 26 million dollars over the next two season. Antwan Jamison is also a likely candidate, although his 12 million dollar contract expires this season.

The Miami Heat, who despite everything, will be right up there with the Bulls as early favorites to win the Eastern conference, need some changes to happen. Probably the most disappointing player on last season’s roster was Mike Miller, who is owed 24 million dollars over the next four season. He did a lot of basketball due to injury last year, but his playoff contribution, 2.6 points per game, just isn’t worth the money.

The New Jersey Nets, aching to spend some money on quality talent have one or two bad contracts to dump. Travis Outlaw, scorer of 9.2 points per game while shooting 37.5% from the field is earning $7 million a season. Very likely to get the amnesty clause.

The Orlando Magic have both Gilbert Arenas (three years, $62.4 million) and Hedo Turkoglu. Not only for the cap space, but for making it a friendlier Orlando atmosphere, although it’s hard to see how they can manage to keep Dwight Howard once his contract expires in 2012.

The Philadelphia 76ers have Elton Brand on the payroll, owed another $35 million for the next two seasons. Still, according to media outlets, Andres Nocioni will be the man. He’s owed $6.7 million next season, and he seems like the popular choice right now.

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Brandon Roy. Yes, the best player the Portland Trail Blazers have had since… maybe Clyde Drexler,could be on his way out. The belief is he’s not going back to being the player he was before 2010-2011, with his knees not likely to get any better. His popularity might cause some problems with the move, but this is business. He’s owed 68.7 million dollars over the next four seasons, way too much for what the Blazers believe he can contribute.

The Utah Jazz are thinking about Mehmet Okur, who is owed nearly $11 million for the next season and the general belief he doesn’t have much left in him.


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Other candidates, albeit through talk and rumors only – DeSanga Diop of the Bobcats, Ryan Gomes of the Clippers who is owed 8 million over the next two years and Rashard Lewis. Now Lewis is the most interesting case because he will be paid $31.1 million over the next two seasons, including $21 million in 2011-2012. Still, the Wizards aren’t planning any big moves this December, and will stick with one of the most overpaid players in NBA history.