Talks between the NBA and the player’s association broke down last week, but not before progress was made on a number of smaller issues.
Among those, Howard Beck of the New York Times writes, are the much talked about amnesty provision, which will allow one player to be cut and not have their contract count against the salary cap. San Antonio Spurs fans call this the “Richard Jefferson” rule. The second is being called the “stretch” exception, which allows a player to be waived and his contract be stretched out over a number of years. This would count against the cap, but would greatly reduce that cap hit.
I’m calling this the “Matt Bonner” exception. Bonner is slated to make close to $4 million this year. If you waive him, and stretch his salary payments out over say 12 years ($4 million and three years of his contract left), and waive Richard Jefferson, then you’re saving about $12 million in cap space this season. If you also buy out the remaining year of Antonio McDyess’ contract, then you’re only back to cap neutral.
I’m not entirely sure what the Spurs should do here. Although it is not completely agreed upon, the good news is it looks like the Mid-Level Exception might still going to be at $5 million, so that gives the Spurs some money to go after someone like Samuel Dalembert or a small forward like Shane Battier, Tayshaun Prince or Andrei Kirilenko (AK-47).
If it were I’d probably waive Jefferson, use Bonner as some kind of trade bait for a backup small forward and use the MLE on someone like Dalembert. Tough to figure all this out until we see what the new CBA looks like though.