Amnesty Clause: Next GM Has an Important Chip
The next GM will have a "get out of jail free" card he could use right out of the gate to gain more flexibility next to the tax threshold/salary cap, the "Amnesty Clause."
Source: "NBA Salary Cap", Wikipedia
Each team is allowed to waive a player without having their salary count toward the salary cap or luxury tax. One player can be waived prior to the start of any season from 2011–12 through 2015–16. It can be exercised during the seven days that follow the July moratorium.
Who would they seek to amnesty? Well Ryan McNeill over at Yahoo Sports thinks it should be Bargnani (really, there is no one else worth talking about):
the obvious target is Andrea Bargnani.
Bargnani is due $11 million next season and $12 million the following season, but the seven-footer and former first overall draft pick has only averaged 4.8 rebounds during his career. He has never averaged more than 6.2 rebounds in a season.
On top of that, Bargnani had the third lowest +/- rating on the Raptors last season with a total of -110 despite only playing in 34 games.
It's no coincidence that Toronto is only 9-25 in games he played last season.
Last season things turned nasty when he returned from an injury as fans at the Air Canada Centre took to booing him whenever he touched the ball or checked into games.
Source: "Why Toronto Raptors Need to Cut Andrea Bargnani", Yahoo Sports
Toronto's ownership group, MLSE, has deep pockets and probably wouldn't flinch at the idea of cutting Bargnani loose.
Clearly the writer missed the news on Colangelo but that said, it's a good introduction to some off-season discussion revolving around the total cap number. There are two ways to look at this thing:
- The Raptors would be capped with or without Bargnani so maybe it would be best to take back cap in a trade so that they get something that fits the team.
- He's the only one on roster who fits the criteria of the amnesty clause and has a material amount on their books. If they did amnesty him in July their cap number would be at $56M this year, $37M the year after. This road is all about keeping a buffer between the tax threshold to keep some flexibility that way.
What do you guys think?