Amnesty cuts: Who could be on the chopping block?

Last week, it was reported that an amnesty provision could be a part of the new labor agreement. With that in mind, it would be interesting to talk about on which players should be released by their NBA teams once the provsion takes effect.

Here’s how each Southwest division teams could use their amnesty clause.


Brendan Haywood. The Mavericks are set to pay Haywood $45.4 million through 2016 for being a backup center.

Tyson Chandler has done a great job on the middle, helping the Mavs win their first NBA title. With former Spur Ian Mahinmi in tow, I believe Haywood is dispensable.


I don’t hate Richard Jefferson, but should the Spurs elect to use their amnesty provision this one is a “no-brainer”, Jefferson should be the one to cut. He is set to make $9.3 million, $10.1 million, and $11 million over the next three years.

Dumping RJ would help the Spurs in short-term, but to make the team better on a long-term basis, the Spurs front office has to be creative once again.

If Tim Duncan takes a pay cut (which he probably will) if and when he resigns for say a year or two will determine the team’s financial flexibility in the future.


This would be tricky for the Grizzlies, remember they beat the Spurs in the first round of the playoffs and took Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder to seven games in the second round without their star Rudy Gay who is owed $68.7 million through 2014-15.

However, instead of using the amnesty clause on Gay, Memphis could actually trade him for in a 2-for-1 situation and release the potential amnesty guy from the trade so they could have a better chance to retain the combination of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol down low.


This is a tough one. Emeka Okafor’s $40.5 million contract seems to be safe way to shed salary, but the Hornets could lose David West to free agency making Okafor harder to let go.

Maybe they should release Trevor Ariza, who has $21.8 million remaining through 2013-14 and replace him with another swingman or two. Or they could opt to free David Andersen, who is set to earn $2.7 million this season (if there is a season!) and then try to resign West or go for another big man in the free agent market.


Easy. Hasheem Thabeet, on the books for  $5.13 million next season.

Agree or disagree with my take on the players to be cut of the Southwest division when the amnesty clause takes effect? Share your thoughts.


8 thoughts on “Amnesty cuts: Who could be on the chopping block?

  1. Robby Lim

    Can’t say I’d disagree with your thoughts but with neither side actually agreeing on anything concrete as far as their negotiation process goes this will remain all supposition. I mean neither the union , league hierarchy and owners can even sit down for a moment to even exchange pleasantries much less agree to disagree . All we are now hearing is Stern bemoaning the union’s lack of cooperation and the NBPA stating that they’re not willing to acquiesce to the NBA’s ….. wishes .

    tophatal ….

  2. Nice write up Robby. I agree on most of your takes, for the Hornets I believe it will be better for them to cut Andersen, Ariza is too good for them to let go.

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  4. Robby:
    I have to say an awesome prediction that came close to mine:
    Dallas = Haywood Amnesty Cut, Marion could be contract extended, released or just redo his contract. He asks to be traded. Dallas trying to clear house for some other vet’s that will be amnesty cuts. Damage Control time to try to repeat.
    SAS = Sorry to say R. Jefferson Amnesty Cut, still servicable by all means. Don’t have anyone else other than some releases at SF.
    Memphis = Gay Amnesty Cut, Grizs have a DELIMMA here a young player beggining to become a superstar that had a serious shoulder injury that look real bad after surgery in videos, he will have to modified his shooting style. A casualty of you can say bad luck, don’t need him you got Zac, Gasol, and Battier too pay. maybe pick up a player from amnesty cut. Can’t wait on Rudy.
    NO = Okafor Amnesty Cut, An even BIGGER DELIMMA here something like SAS, top heavy in payroll, problaly release Anderson or traded, just too keep West, and Ariza and make Paul smile a little, but that will still not keep them from tying up their payroll again, they are back to where they were minus one good player and top heavy in payroll.
    Hou = Thabeet Amnesty Cut, Not worth 5.13 mils.
    After seeing this list of predictions of possible Amnesty Cuts, R. Jefferson and maybe Okafor are the best available players being amnesty cut in the Division.

  5. Even if there is no clear indication that the season would resume, I figured it’s time to write about it. Somehow, I limited it to the Southwest rather than writing for the whole 30 NBA teams.

    Thanks for your responses. I appreciate it, great take @Joe!

  6. Robby;
    Great job! What Division is next Northwest or Pacific? Some teams in the NW and Pac don’t have a player to amnesty cut because they are either Free Agents or Unrestricted not even listed with there previous teams. Do you think that this types of players are expecting a big payday but not getting one because the CBA Amnesty Cut rule that might hurt them and if so would they just be better off staying put with the same team for another year. Just by looking at the Northwest and Pacific Div. some teams don’t even break 85 points with there current roster, but they also seem to be the ones that are going to profit from the Amnesty Cut rule. The LAL have a hard choice to make they might have to part with one of this guys B. Andrew, L. Odom or World Peace Metta, but money is not an issue to them they might just try to go out and get Dwight Howard if they can.

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