Amnesty Clause

Potential 2014 Amnesty Candidates

2013's amnesty period came to an end last night at 11:00pm CST, leaving just seven teams and 11 players still in play for the amnesty clause. The Bobcats, Lakers, Heat, Bucks, and Raptors all used the amnesty provision this year, making 20 teams in total that have taken advantage of it in the last three years.

While that leaves 10 teams who haven't amnestied a player yet, three of those clubs will no longer have any players eligible. The Pelicans entered this offseason with no amnesty-eligible players under contract, and the Pistons (Charlie Villanueva, Greg Monroe) and Jazz (Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward) both elected to keep their remaining amnesty-eligible players, all of whom are on expiring contracts.

That leaves the following list of teams that could still release a player via amnesty next July:

It's safe to assume that, barring a catastrophic, career-threatening injury, Horford, Rondo, and Parker are safe, meaning the Hawks, Celtics, and Spurs are unlikely to use the amnesty provision. That leaves just four teams in play. Here's a look at the candidates on those clubs:

Chicago Bulls:

Even though Noah will still have two years left on his contract entering next offseason, he's still young and productive enough that it's hard to imagine him becoming a realistic amnesty candidate before his deal expires. The same can't be said for Boozer. After being discussed as a potential victim last summer, he didn't inspire too many rumors this time around, but there's still a consensus that he could be in danger next July.

With Luol Deng's contract set to expire, the Bulls could clear a big chunk of cap space by letting Deng expire and amnestying Boozer. The veteran power forward is coming off a decent season, but he's not the same player he once was, and clearing his $16.8MM cap hit for 2014/15 could have significant cap and tax benefits.

Memphis Grizzlies:

Randolph and Conley both continue to be essential pieces of the Grizzlies' core, so I think it's extremely unlikely that either player becomes an amnesty candidate. Still, it's worth noting that Randolph is on the books for $16.5MM in 2014/15, and Conley will still have two years left on his contract heading into next summer. We've seen situations change quickly before, so I don't want to entirely shut the door on either possibility, but it's a long shot that Memphis uses its amnesty provision.

Oklahoma City Thunder:

Durant isn't going anywhere, and I doubt the Thunder will be so hard up for flexibility next summer that they'll need to clear Collison's modest $2.24MM cap hit from the books. But Perkins has been and continues to be a very viable amnesty candidate. OKC decided this year that Perkins still provides enough value on the court that it's not worth paying him to play for another team, but when his salary increases to $9.65MM in 2014, the club may change its stance.

Sacramento Kings:

On the surface, Salmons looks like one of the strongest amnesty candidates remaining, but after this season, most of his remaining salary is non-guaranteed — the Kings are only on the hook for $1MM of his $7MM total. That means that Sacramento could choose between saving $6MM in cap space by buying out Salmons for $1MM, or saving $7MM in cap space by paying him his full salary. It's pretty hard to imagine many scenarios in which clearing that extra $1MM in cap room is worth paying Salmons an extra $6MM, so it looks like the Kings won't use their amnesty clause.

Overall, while it remains possible that players like Boozer or Perkins could be released in 2014, it looks like most of the teams that are going to use the amnesty provision during this CBA have already done so.

2013 Amnesty Period Ends

Tuesday night marked the last chance this offseason for eligible teams to exercise the amnesty clause, which allows them to waive a player and remove his name from their books for salary-cap and luxury-tax purposes (while continuing to pay him).  Amnesty week started on July 10, and while the 2013 period wasn't as busy as last season, there were still five teams that chose to take advantage of the clause, including three today.  As a reminder, amnestied players are placed on waivers, but the rules are a little different than usual, as we outlined in our 2013 Amnesty Primer.

As of 11:00pm CT tonight, teams that had yet to utilize the amnesty provision won't get another chance to do so until next July.  With the deadline now behind us, here's the complete list of players who were amnestied this offseason, along with the teams and players that are still amnesty-eligible, and the teams that will not be able to utilize the provision:


Remaining amnesty-eligible teams and players:

Amnesty-eligible teams without amnesty-eligible players (cannot use clause):

  • Detroit Pistons
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • Utah Jazz

Sixers Owner Discusses Front Office, Amnesty

Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris discussed a variety of issues relating to the team in a media address before Friday's game against the Mavericks. Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News has the details:

  • Harris hinted that the Sixers may look to pursue a big man to replace some of the production of the injured Spencer Hawes, but cautioned that quality, affordable centers are few and far between.
  • He praised the work of president Rod Thorn and head coach Doug Collins in putting together a winning organization and building chemistry, and stated he does not believe major moves need to be made at this time.
  • On whether the Sixers would ever use the amnesty clause, Harris was noncommittal, saying they would only do it if the right situation arose. Looking at their roster, nobody jumps out as a clear amnesty candidate, as the final year of Andres Nocioni's contract is a team option for $7.5MM for 2012/13. Elton Brand is slated to make approximately $18.1 million in the final year of his deal, but Brand is still productive enough that it is hard to picture Philadelphia exercising the clause.

Amnesty Clause Victims: Where Are They Now?

Prior to the start of the 2011/2012 NBA season, the league ratified a new CBA under which teams could rid themselves of a bad player contract. The amnesty clause allows for teams to waive one player's contract and not have it count against the cap nor pay any luxury tax on that salary. According to the CBA, the amnesty clause may be used one time on a player signed prior to the 2011/2012 season. Teams were not forced to use the clause before the start of the current season as the proverbial "get out of jail free" card remains in play through the 2015/2016 campaign.

Let's check in and see where the players who were amnestied back in December are now:

  • Baron Davis: The former UCLA star was amnestied by the Cavaliers, acquired by the Knicks and has not played yet this season due to injury.
  • Chauncey Billups: After being sent to New York in the Carmelo Anthony trade, Billups was later amnestied by the Knicks, acquired by the Clippers and is currently averaging 14.8 PPG and 4.1 APG.
  • Charlie Bell: Bell is currently playing in the Lega Basket Serie A with the Pepsi Caserta after being amnestied by the Warriors.
  • James Posey: The former Heat small forward was amnestied by the Pacers and is currently a free agent.
  • Gilbert Arenas: Hibachi was amnestied by the Magic and will be hosting an open workout in Los Angeles later this week with hopes of securing an NBA contract.
  • Travis Outlaw: The former Starkville High School graduate was amnestied by the Nets, later acquired by the Kings where he is averaging 3.1 PPG and 1.5 RPG in limited minutes.
  • Brandon Roy: With injuries making his contract an untenable situation for the Trail Blazers, Portland amnestied Roy, leading to his retirement.