If you haven't been paying attention to the lockout thread then you might have missed the recent developments. It now seems the two sides are getting close to a deal. Two of the items that the Owners are hard lining on and look to gain is a new amnesty clause and player salary roll backs. The amnesty clause will allow each team to cut one player and still pay his salary, just like 2005. However, unlike 2005 that contract will not count against the cap. The salary roll backs will cut player salaries league wide by 5% and that 5% won't count against the cap. So what does this mean? Well, looking through the Raptors roster the most likely person to be cut in my opinion would be Jose Calderon first and foremost because of his yearly earnings, his shrinking impact on the game and his age. He's not in the cards long term so his roughly $10M/yr over two years is most likely to get dumped. He offers the Raptors the most cap relief right now to hit a free agent market that looks to be bloated with all sorts of excellent options that could greatly improve the team. To break this down in more detail if they cut Calderon with the proposed amnesty clause and they also get the 5% roll back on all player salaries then their new total player salaries amount will be $35,243,518. If the cap is the same as last season's $58M then the Raptors are looking at $23M in cap space... That's even more than Colangelo had when he first entered Toronto with a fairly empty roster. What's different from 2006 though is even though they'll have all that space they'll still have ten guys under contract before they spend a penny of it. I think they'll be in the market for stars and borderline stars because they have pretty good support crew right now. Who? Well, first let's look at who's mostly likely to get cut by each team with this amnesty clause and remember this isn't 2005. In 2005 big names and guys who could still play typically didn't get cut because their salary was still going to hit their cap number and so it made no sense to get rid of them. This time it won't count against cap. Big difference. In 2005 the amnesty clause only helped those who were going to have to pay luxury tax but this time it helps almost everyone in some way. Now let's take a look:

  • Atlanta: Kirk Hinrich ($8M, one year remaining)
  • Boston: Kevin Garnett ($21M, one year remaining)
  • Charlotte: Corey Maggette ($21M over two years)
  • Chicago Bulls: Luol Deng ($40M over three years)
  • Cleveland: Baron Davis ($14M, one year remaining, player option?)
  • Dallas: Brendan Haywood ($35M over four years)
  • Denver: Andre Miller ($8M, one year remaining)
  • Detroit: Rip Hamilton ($25M over two years)
  • Golden State: Charlie Bell ($4M, one year remaining)
  • Houston: Hasheem Thabeet ($5M, one year remaining)
  • Indiana: James Posey ($7M, one year remaining)
  • L.A. Clippers: Randy Foye ($4M, one year remaining)
  • L.A. Lakers: Metta World Peace ($7M, one year remaining, player option?)
  • Memphis: -
  • Miami: Mike Miller ($17M over three years, player option?)
  • Milwaukee: Beno Udrih ($7M, one year remaining, player option?)
  • Minnesota: Martell Webster ($5M, one year remaining)
  • New Jersey: Travis Outlaw ($28M over four years)
  • New Orleans: -
  • New York: Chauncey Billups ($14M, one year remaining)
  • Oklahoma City: Nate Robinson ($5M, one year remaining)
  • Orlando: Gilbert Arenas ($20M, one year remaining, player option?)
  • Philadelphia: Andres Nocioni ($7M, one year remaining)
  • Phoenix: Josh Childress ($20M, three years remaining, player option?)
  • Portland: Brandon Roy ($31M over two years, player option?)
  • Sacramento: -
  • San Antonio: Richard Jefferson ($19M over two years, player option?)
  • Toronto: Jose Calderon ($20M over two years)
  • Utah: Mehmet Okur ($11M, one year remaining)
  • Washington: Rashard Lewis ($46M over two years)

* All numbers exclude player options as I don't feel they will "carry over" in the new CBA.

Now above you'll note that I didn't always take the worst contract on a team. Why? Well using Atlanta as an example, Joe Johnson is owed $107M. Under the new proposed rules that number would be dropped to around $101M. There is no chance in hell that Atlanta can afford to give him $100M to simply go away. Not happening, he's there long term or at least under contract long term. Add those guys to a list that will include Jeff Green, Caron Butler, Tyson Chandler, Kenyon Martin, Nene Hilario, J.R. Smith, Rodney Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince, DeAndre Jordan, Marc Gasol, Shane Battier, Michael Redd, Jason Richardson, Thaddeus Young, Grant Hill, Aaron Brooks, Greg Oden, Samuel Dalembert, Josh Howard,Nick Young and many other notable players and what you have is one wild free agency. Colangelo will be entering the party with a huge bank roll and only five roster spots to fill. Guys, I think we're about to see potentially two big names come to Toronto. Now let's talk about that.