Only 12 teams have yet to use their one-time amnesty provision and today is the start of the amnesty period in which teams can cut players and unload deals for salary-cap or luxury-tax purposes.
The one-time provision granted to teams under the new CBA is allowed to be used on one player to clear him off the books while continuing to pay him the rest of his salary.
It would have been 13 teams, but reports are that the Los Angeles Lakers will use theirs to break up with Metta World Peace. Teams can only amnesty players whose contracts were in effect before the 2011-2012 season and have remained with their respective team. So a guy like Andrea Bargnani, who will be traded to the New York Knicks, would have been eligible but no longer is due to the trade.
Here is a list of teams that have yet to use their amnesty clause, followed by contracted players eligible to be amnestied:
Atlanta: Al Horford
Boston: Avery Bradley, Rajon Rondo
Chicago: Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah
Detroit: Greg Monroe, Charlie Villanueva
Memphis: Mike Conley, Zach Randolph
Miami: Joel Anthony, Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem, LeBron James, Mike Miller, Dwyane Wade
Milwaukee: Drew Gooden, Larry Sanders
Oklahoma City: Nick Collison, Kevin Durant, Kendrick Perkins, Thabo Sefolosha
Sacramento: DeMarcus Cousins, John Salmons
San Antonio: Matt Bonner, Tony Parker
Toronto: Amir Johnson, Linas Kleiza
Utah: Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward
The Miami Heat have taken advantage of amnestied players in the past. The Denver Nuggets used their amnesty on Chris Andersen in 2012. No doubt, the Heat will be watching the amnesty wire closely.
Players cut with the amnesty must first clear amnesty waiver wires. Only teams with cap space can bid. So a player would have to clear waivers before the Heat could offer him a contract.
We can eliminate some names right away. LeBron, for example, won’t be amnestied. Neither with Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Kevin Durant, Tony Parker, Al Horford and others. Let’s clear those names from the list and see what’s left:
Chicago: Carlos Boozer
Detroit: Charlie Villanueva
Miami: Joel Anthony, Mike Miller
Milwaukee: Drew Gooden
Oklahoma City: Kendrick Perkins
Sacramento: John Salmons
San Antonio: Matt Bonner,
Toronto: Amir Johnson, Linas Kleiza
And so the above names is who we are left with. I doubt Carlos Boozer will be amnestied, but it remains a possibility. Will the Heat amnesty Mike Miller or Joel Anthony if they can’t trade one or both of them? Maybe to avoid the hefty luxury tax that comes with one of the deals.
If the Lakers really do part with Metta, there is a chance he clears waivers. He is old and certainly declining in play. But he did meet his three-point shooting percentage career average. If the Heat part with Miller, he could be a reasonable replacement for a lot less money.
Pat Riley might be looking to Oklahoma City to see if they are willing to part with Perkins. Perkins is set to earn almost $8.5 million. He would still make that money, plus whatever a team gives him to sign. This is how Miami attracts good players to take “less” money to play with a contender.
Drew Gooden is an athletic big the Heat might be interested. So is Matt Bonner, who could play power forward and stretch the floor. Would the Heat take a flyer on a descending talent like John Salmons? If they feel like they need more depth at small forward, maybe.
Maybe the Raptors will part with power forward/center Amir Johnson, an athletic big due to make $6.5 million and hasn’t lived up to expectations in Toronto.
No one knows where Pat Riley’s head is, but we do know he’s had time to think about it. I guess we’ll find out.