As we move forward with “Amnesty 2.0” in July, we will see the fascinating possibilities that the provision brings even as the number of teams and players left dwindles with time. One fun component of the rule is that we know exactly which players are eligible for it and that number can only decrease over time since the players had to have been under contract with the same team before the new CBA. As such, any trades, extensions, or contract expirations thin out the list.
The other thing to remember is that most of the benefit of using the amnesty provision comes from additional flexibility in terms of the salary cap- the only money savings owners get from using it come from any reduction in luxury tax payments and whatever a “winning” team bids for that player on amnesty waivers.
Players Eligible for amnesty: Al Horford
Reasonable candidates for amnesty: None
Most likely amnesty decision: Not use it. Since the team traded all of its long-term contracts (except Horford) and potential candidates like Zaza Pachulia’s contracts expire this summer, the only player left for Atlanta to utilize the provision on is Horford. That is beyond unlikely.
Players Eligible for amnesty: Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley
Reasonable candidates for amnesty: Paul Pierce
Most likely amnesty decision: Not use it. After signing five different players to contracts over $5 million for 2013-14 this past off-season, the Celtics took all the incentive out of using the amnesty provision on Pierce in 2013.
Used amnesty provision on Travis Outlaw (December 15, 2011)
Players Eligible for amnesty: Tyrus Thomas
Reasonable candidates for amnesty: Tyrus Thomas
Most likely amnesty decision: Tyrus Thomas in 2014. As of now, the Bobcats do not have enough salary on the books to necessitate making an amnesty move this coming summer. As such, the most likely play is to keep Thomas until the summer of 2014 when Ben Gordon’s contract is cleared from the ledger. As of now, Charlotte only has players on rookie deals and Brendan Haywood getting money then, so it could be the right time to strike.
Players Eligible for amnesty: Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah
Reasonable candidates for amnesty: Carlos Boozer
Most likely amnesty decision: Carlos Boozer in 2014. The decision has become even clearer now, though the Taj Gibson extension could push the timeline up a little bit if the Bulls are feeling the pressure financially next summer. However, Boozer’s last year comes the same year that Luol Deng becomes a free agent, so a proactive Bulls team could make some FA/trade noise since they have less money on the books.
Used amnesty provision on Baron Davis (December 14, 2011)
Used amnesty provision on Brendan Haywood (July 12, 2012)
Used amnesty provision on Chris Andersen (July 17, 2012)
Players Eligible for amnesty: Charlie Villanueva and Greg Monroe
Reasonable candidates for amnesty: Charlie Villanueva
Most likely amnesty decision: Charlie Villanueva in 2013. It seemed like a foregone conclusion in 2012 and absolutely has to be done in 2013. I cannot see a tangible benefit to leaving his $8.58 million on the cap for 2013-14.
Golden State Warriors
Used amnesty provision on Charlie Bell (December 11, 2011)
Used amnesty provision on Luis Scola (July 13, 2012)
Used amnesty provision on James Posey (December 12, 2011)
Los Angeles Clippers
Used amnesty provision on Ryan Gomes (July 18, 2012)
Los Angeles Lakers
Players Eligible for amnesty: Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace, Steve Blake
Reasonable candidates for amnesty: Metta World Peace, Steve Blake
Most likely amnesty decision: Metta World Peace in 2013. Since the Lakers have to decide about amnesty during the first week after the July moratorium, they will not have enough information on Kobe’s progress to amnesty him. Furthermore, they would only yield a big benefit if Dwight Howard leaves the Lakers and we likely will not know that at such an early stage in the process. Even though the Lakers continue to need a quality small forward in the worst way, shedding the final year of World Peace's onerous deal seems like the best play. The addition of Chris Duhon makes Steve Blake a slightly greater possibility but he still appears moveable via trade and provides fair value to the team.
Players Eligible for amnesty: Zach Randolph, Mike Conley
Reasonable candidates for amnesty: Zach Randolph (in 2014)
Most likely amnesty decision: Not use it. Shedding Rudy Gay’s big contract means that the Grizzlies do not have to amnesty anyone in order to avoid the biggest costs of the new luxury tax system. At the present time, the only salaries the team has on the books for 2014-15 are Randolph, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley Jr, Tayshaun Prince, Darrell Arthur and Tony Wroten. Add in a rookie or two and you still have a workable structure. At this point it feels more likely that Randolph would get traded than amnestied since he would still provide value to the team.
Players Eligible for amnesty: Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem, Joel Anthony
Reasonable candidates for amnesty: Joel Anthony, Mike Miller
Most likely amnesty decision: Joel Anthony in 2014. The reigning champs did not lose a single player from their amnesty list over the past year thanks to roster stability. Mike Miller’s health could end up making him the pick but Joel Anthony’s $3.8 million final season stands out since the Heat do not have a veteran shooter locked up for 2014-15 at this time. Look for one of the two of them to be shed then, though.
Players Eligible for amnesty: Drew Gooden and Larry Sanders
Reasonable candidates for amnesty: Drew Gooden
Most likely amnesty decision: Drew Gooden in 2013. At this point, Drew Gooden’s two remaining years are the only reasonable option left for amnesty purposes. Considering Brandon Jennings will get a major pay raise this summer and the Bucks will need any flexibility they can get whether or not they retain either Monta Ellis or JJ Redick, look for Gooden to go even though the team stands unlikely to benefit in any way other than cap room.
Used amnesty provision on Darko Milicic (July 12, 2012)
New Orleans Hornets
Players Eligible for amnesty: No one
Reasonable candidates for amnesty: No one
Most likely amnesty decision: Not use it. By trading all three players eligible for the amnesty provision (Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza and Jarrett Jack), the Hornets became the first team to be assured not to use it this time around.
New York Knicks
Used amnesty provision on Chauncey Billups (December 10, 2011)
Oklahoma City Thunder
Players Eligible for amnesty: Kevin Durant, Kendrick Perkins, Thabo Sefolosha, Nick Collison
Reasonable candidates for amnesty: Kendrick Perkins
Most likely amnesty decision: Not use it. We will have to see how Sam Presti handles the Kendrick Perkins situation but my read is that they will not utilize it after either of the next two seasons. Nick Collison would have a slight chance in 2014 if he were not so popular with the team and management.
Used amnesty provision on Gilbert Arenas (December 9, 2011)
Used amnesty provision on Elton Brand (July 12, 2012)
Used amnesty provision on Josh Childress (July 16, 2012)
Portland Trail Blazers
Used amnesty provision on Brandon Roy (December 15, 2011)
Players Eligible for amnesty: John Salmons, DeMarcus Cousins
Reasonable candidates for amnesty: John Salmons
Most likely amnesty decision: John Salmons in 2013. Since Salmons’s deal is only partially guaranteed ($1 million) in 2014-15, the Kings would have some flexibility in the 2013 offseason when Evans can be extended and Cousins will be one year away if they cut him loose at that point. With new ownership looking to make a splash, having some extra money this offseason could be useful to the Kings.
San Antonio Spurs
Players Eligible for amnesty: Tony Parker and Matt Bonner
Reasonable candidates for amnesty: Matt Bonner
Most likely amnesty decision: Not use it. Bonner’s partially guaranteed 2013-2014 salary would be a possibility but appears unlikely at best.
Players Eligible for amnesty: Andrea Bargnani, Amir Johnson, Linas Kleiza
Reasonable candidates for amnesty: Linas Kleiza, Andrea Bargnani
Most likely amnesty decision: Linas Kleiza in 2013. Utilizing amnesty on Bargnani would be too big an admission of defeat for management, though theoretically a change at the top coupled with more bad play could change the equation sufficiently to put Il Mago on the amnesty line. With that, getting a little bit more space in terms of the apron/tax line would be good for the Raptors if they are unwilling to bite the bigger bullet in the form of Bargnani.
Players Eligible for amnesty: Derrick Favors
Reasonable candidates for amnesty: None
Most likely amnesty decision: Not use it. With only young buck Derrick Favors left as eligible to be amnestied, every conceivable sign points to the Jazz joining the Hornets in August 2013 as teams guaranteed not to use the provision.
Used amnesty provision on Andray Blatche (July 17, 2012)