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.
SAN ANTONIO SPURS
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.
NEW ORLEANS HORNETS
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.