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NBA Off-Season: Amnesty Aftermath - Which teams used theirs? Which teams did not?

Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

[Ed. Note: Prodigal Punk did a super job in today's Downbeat, and discussed the guys amnestied this off-season. Because I'm a huge NBA geek, I had to go into more details and look at the numbers.]

Since the NBA Lockout of 2011 ended the NBA has allowed its' teams to exercise an Amnesty Clause on one contract. This amnesty clause can only be used once by each team, and if a team does not use their clause by the start of the 2013-2014 season then it is gone forever. The money owed to the players is not gone, however. If a team excises their right to waive a player via the amnesty clause they still have to pay that player every cent. (A buy out is a situation where you can negotiate a termination fee) The catch is that an amnestied salary does not count towards a team's individual salary cap.

To see the full list of 15 teams over the last two seasons who have used this, the players waived, the money saved, and why you would ever want to do this . . . click on below.

Why Amnesty a player?

It is a risky move, but teams with the philosophy to pay someone for not playing can make things work. Cleveland traded for a player, then got rid of him via the clause. They paid him to get out of their hair, and for their trouble they picked up a lottery pick. That pick ended up winning the lottery, and resulted in a team getting the #1 pick in the 2011 Draft. That player became the rookie of the year. So, that's the far out example of a team getting lucky. Sometimes it's better to be smart than needing to be lucky though.


Which teams have taken the plunge?

Here are the teams that used theirs last off-season:

Players Amnestied in 2011 Off-Season
Western Conference Eastern Conference
Team Player Total Saved Seasons Team Player Total Saved Seasons
1 Warriors Charlie Bell $4,099,920 1 . Nets Travis Outlaw $4,000,000 1
2 Trail Blazers Brandon Roy $16,032,144 1 . Cavaliers Baron Davis $26,900,000 1
3 . Pacers James Posey $7,695,600 1
4 . Knicks Chauncey Billups $12,199,968 1
5 . Magic Gilbert Arenas $19,269,307 1

N.B. The money value in the above chart is just for the season savings for the team for THAT next immediate season (2011-12). I do not have access to the length of those contracts, if there were any options on them, and how much the player had left on them. I could find it, but it wouldn't be as easy as finding the data for current contracts that were just amnestied 24 hours ago.


And here is the list from this off-season:

Players Amnestied in 2012 Off-Season
Western Conference Eastern Conference
Team Player Total Saved Seasons Team Player Total Saved Seasons
1 Mavericks Brendan Haywood $37,743,000 4 . 76ers Elton Brand $18,160,355 1
2 Nuggets Chris Andersen $9,344,000 2 . Wizards Andray Blatche $23,383,762 3
3 Rockets Luis Scola $30,673,866 3 .
4 Clippers Ryan Gomes $4,000,000 1 .
5 Timberwolves Darko Milicic $10,898,000 2 .
6 Suns Josh Childress $21,000,000 3 .

Holy moly that's a lot of money saved!


Which teams still have their chance to amnesty a player?

After two off-seasons half the teams in the league have used their Amnesty clause on a player. I don't care how rich you are, but if you sign B-Haywood to a deal that could get him close to $40 million then you are the problem, not the player. There are 15 teams who have yet to use it. They either have to, or it goes away forever. The catch here is that the only contracts eligible to be amnestied are contracts for players that were BOTH a) on your team roster when the NBA Lockout ended, and b) who are currently on the same contract from that time period.

As a result not every team as a ton of options on players to amnesty next off-season. And not every team has the same number of options. Miami has 6 guys they could pick from, while New Orleans has none. (This is what clearing house can get you) Some teams do not have any, unless they use their team options to extend deals to guys who were on their rookie deals during the lockout.

Here's the full list of TEAMS that have their amnesty provision still available.

Teams that have their Amnesty Provision Still, but will lose it if not used in 2013 Off-Season
Western Conference Eastern Conference
Team Eligible '13 Rookie Opts Team Eligible '13 Rookie Opts
1 Lakers 4 . Hawks 1
2 Grizzlies 3 . Celtics 2 +1
3 Hornets 0 . Bobcats 1
4 Thunder 4 +1 . Bulls 3
5 Kings 2 +1 . Pistons 1 +1
6 Spurs 2 . Heat 6
7 Jazz 0 +2 . Bucks 1 +1
8 . Raptors 3 +1

ESPN's Marc Stein did a super duper post about this for their Truehoop blog. You should check it out here, as he has the full list of eligible players for a potential Amnesty in 2013. That is where the majority of the data for this post came from, the rest from, and

If you are just interested in who the Jazz have available to get rid of, well, it's Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward. Pretty slim pickings for 2013. Yep, and last night it was a ton of other options, including Raja Bell and Al Jefferson. But we're not a team that's likely to pay a guy not to play. We'll only try to buy out a player not to pay. Semantics. And we keep our pride.

Like I said, more over than not, it's better to be smart than need luck. This provision was lucky for some teams, smarter teams who actually do this thing called "planning" did not need it. This amnesty provision, had it not existed, would have really screwed over a number of teams. Just not our team. We can handle Al's $15 million contract financially. And it expires. And then we're free to do whatever we want with all our money.

And we didn't need to amnesty anyone to do so. (Yes, I'm assuming here that the Jazz aren't going to extend Hayward or Favors' rookie deals only to amnesty one of them that same 2013 off-season.)