Amnesty provision on its way?


High level NBA lockout negotiations resumed today in hopes of avoiding any sort shortened season.
It wasn’t made immediately clear what specifics they’d be addressing, but Chris Sheridan, quoting John Canzano from the Oregonian, says that one item that has been discussed is a cap friendly amnesty provision.

“Two NBA sources told me Tuesday that they believe there’s consensus among owners on a few important lockout issues. One of those issues being an amnesty clause that would give NBA teams the ability to release one player, pay his salary, take no luxury tax liability, and also, not have that player count against the season salary cap.  This is different than the last round of amnesty, which didn’t give the cap relief.”

This would also mean the San Antonio Spurs could cut ties with Richard Jefferson.

“Could” is the optimal word there. If they did, that wouldn’t do much for their cap room this season. If they buy out Antonio McDyess’ deal and waive Jefferson, they’d still be right at the current cap. However, they’d be in great shape next season when Tim Duncan’s contract comes off the books. Take Duncan’s $21 million, Jefferson’s $10 million and McDyess’ $5 million and the Spurs shed $36 million bucks in payroll, which would put them somewhere between $15 and $20 million under the current cap.

At the same time, it’s not a slam dunk that the Spurs would cut ties with Jefferson. Back in May,’s Zach Lowe wrote about the players most likely to be amnesty exception victims. He did say Jefferson would be the most likely cut from the Spurs, but added that he’s not entirely sure Peter Holt & Co. would pay Jefferson $30 million over the next three years to not play for them? It’s a valid question and I’m not sure they would. Though you would have to expect at least a little bit of pressure from management, not to mention the fans, to cut Jefferson if it meant having $15 million in cap space.

I’m not even going to ask what you have to say, because I know 90% of fans will say cut him. I don’t disagree, because $15 to $20 million in cap space does sound appealing.