As it turns out, the NBA’s new amnesty clause was designed for the poor to get (slightly) richer, or more specifically, for the dregs of the NBA to have an opportunity to sign Brandon Roy’s old knees, Baron Davis’ beard or Rashard Lewis’ decaying offensive repertoire before anyone else does.
Teams under the salary cap will have the first crack at signing any players released under the amnesty clause, which is highlighted in Sam Amick’s summary of the tentative labor deal.
- 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.
- Salary of amnestied players included for purposes of calculating players’agreed-upon share of BRI.
- A modified waiver process will be utilized for players waived pursuant to the Amnesty rule, under which teams with Room under the Cap can submit competing offers to assume some but not all of the player’s remaining contract. If a player’s contract is claimed in this manner, the remaining portion of the player’s salary will continue to be paid by the team that waived him.
Though it should preclude them from signing any worthwhile amnesty cuts, this development probably helps the Celtics. Why? Because though it’s unsure whether the Celtics are still desirable to veteran free agents looking to hitch their way to a ring, amnesty casualties certainly would have lined up to sign with Miami.
We can make fun of Rashard Lewis all day when he’s making $22 million per season to be an overpaid mannequin in Washington, but pay him the veteran’s minimum and line him up alongside Dwyane Wade and Lebron James, and suddenly the Heat have an extra weapon. Baron Davis is old, often heavier than he should be and tends to take some wild shots, but he’s certainly quite a bit more talented than Mike Bibby or Mario Chalmers. Brandon Roy is 27 years old with the knees of a recently deceased grandfather, but he could match James Jones’ production while sitting down (note: I’m still trying to pretend that Jones’ 25 points in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals never happened). Yet due to the amnesty rules, the possibility that any of those players lands in Miami is minuscule.
That helps the Celtics, who might not have been attractive to amnesty cuts anyway.
Don’t believe me? The Celtics are old, they were ousted by the Miami Heat in five games last postseason, and they are no longer among the upper echelon of favorites to emerge from the East. Entering the season, prior to learning how Danny Ainge fills out the periphery of his roster, the Celtics can reasonably be expected to finish third, at best, in the East, behind the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat. It’s possible for the Celtics to exceed those expectations, but all indicators — specifically, age and the way Boston bowed to Miami last season — suggest Boston is moving in the wrong direction, while Miami and Chicago are poised to improve with seasoning.
The amnesty rules probably don’t hurt Boston much. They do hurt Miami.