Earlier this month on RedsArmy, I scanned through each team looking for potential players that might get "amnestied" by their current employers. There's been some discussions about players such as Baron Davis, Rashard Lewis, Gilbert Arenas, Richard Hamilton, Mo Williams and Memhet Okur tossed around for debate. Logically, the contending teams (Miami, LA Lakers, Chicago, OKC, Boston) would love to swoop in and sign one of these guys on the cheap for two reasons: 1) because they're capped out, possibly in luxury tax territory and 2) they'd be willing to sign for short money for a chance to win.
Hold that thought. The fine folks over at Cowbell Kingdom highlighted the third bullet point regarding the Amnesty Clause, and it's a huge one regarding contending/capped/taxed teams:
- 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.
So if the Celtics were planning on taking a hard look at Baron Davis to back up Rajon Rondo, or Rashard Lewis spotting Kevin Garnett and/or Paul Pierce some much needed minutes, it's not as easy as waiting for them to get jettisoned by their current team and pitching the "we need YOU for the final championship run" pitch.
Basically, teams under the cap will get first dibs at said players then will most likely move in a reverse process, with the teams with the highest payrolls having the last shot at it. It's just another small, but important wrinkle in that tangled thing called "parity." Having say, the Timberwolves getting the first crack at signing Richard Hamilton won't put them over the top, but it does take away the chance for a team like the Celtics or Miami to bolster their bench.