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Thread: The value of an amnesty clause and contract roll backs from our perspective

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    Administrator Apollo's Avatar
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    Default The value of an amnesty clause and contract roll backs from our perspective

    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.

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    Administrator Apollo's Avatar
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    Just imagine if they could land Jeff Green or Luol Deng to fill the starting SF spot? Nocioni would be an excellent role player for both forward spots. He's always reminded me of Jorge Garbajosa in many ways. He's a glue guy who doesn't get much credit and who will probably come very cheap.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Soft Euro's Avatar
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    I don't see many of these guys getting cut.

    Btw, I think NY picked up a teamoption on Billups just before the lockout, a cut would be pretty weird and Wilson Chandler can be removed from the fa-list; he'll be in China at least till march or so.

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    Administrator Apollo's Avatar
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    Quote Soft Euro wrote: View Post
    I don't see many of these guys getting cut.
    You need to elaborate on who and why or that's pretty much worthless. Also put forth who you feel will be let go.

    Quote Soft Euro wrote: View Post
    Btw, I think NY picked up a teamoption on Billups just before the lockout, a cut would be pretty weird
    Not if you think big picture. Dolan is swimming in money. It's nothing for him to drop $14M on a player. The Knicks are at $60M right now. If the cap is $58M this season and they had an under the table agreement with Billups that if they cut him and he signed on at the vet minimum they would then have $11M to spend in free agency to make the team better what do you think he's going to say? He gets $15M instead of $14M and he gets a better team. I don't know, tough call..

    Anyway, I could see this happening in Boston as well. Billups and KG might not really hit the market but the best way to help both teams is for both to be cut and signed at vet minimum. Both teams can be players in free agency then.

    Quote Soft Euro wrote: View Post
    Wilson Chandler can be removed from the fa-list; he'll be in China at least till march or so.
    Good point, I'll make the update to my post.

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    Raptors Republic Starter Papa Burgundy's Avatar
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    I don't think the Celts cut Garnett ... maybe get out from another year of paying an unreliable JO.

    I also don't see Andre Miller being bought out. Reliable veteran on the final year of a reasonable contract, with a young PG to mentor.

    Travis Outlaw in NJ would be a tough pill to swallow - 4 years @ $7M to make a young serviceable wing go away. To make up for spending mistakes last year, send Petro packing.

    With likely lots of opinions from everyone on many teams, i'll finish with the Raptors. I don't think they cut Jose. Bayless hasn't shown long term consistency, and Jose brings 'veteran leadership', something that was already in short supply; add in the likely departure of Reggie Evans - and Jose's presence and voice become even that much more important.

    My two cents. Good thread for roster analysis.
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    I agree with Soft Euro. The problem with your theory is that cutting these players won't bring many of those teams under the cap, so what's the point? Even IF they can replace one player with a similarly skilled player, all that would do is mean they'd be paying more in total salary for a similar player. And in most cases, they won't get a similarly skilled player back, so they'd be spending more money to make their team worse.

    - No way Garnett gets cut. He's the heart of Boston and can't be replaced. And it won't bring Boston under the cap.
    - And while Deng is overpaid, Chicago certainly won't want to lose him, especially when there's no guarantee they can replace him with similar talent with them still over the cap.
    - Haywood is overpaid, but what does cutting him do for Dallas? They won't get under any cap, so they'd basically be losing a good center and insurance policy in case Chandler gets hurt.
    - Unless New York can sign a younger elite PG for long term, would they really cut Chauncey Billups, who is their only leader?
    - Richard Jefferson is overpaid, but with the Spurs needing as much talent as possible to remain a contender, would getting rid of Jefferson make sense? Who do you replace him with?
    - Kirk Hinrich didn't perform as they'd hoped in Atlanta, but without him they're still over the cap, so what's the point?
    - Mike Miller was hurt last year, but Miami needs him and I don't see them being able to get as talented a player as him. Besides, all the players took less money so Miami could sign Miller.

    As for Calderon, I see the argument to cutting him, but what exactly would being able to sign Jeff Green this summer do for the Raptors? Would it make them a contender or even a team you can see eventually being a contender? I certainly don't. I like Green, but the Raptors simply don't have the talent on the current roster to move forward with what they have. What signing Green does do is improve the team slightly, likely bringing them into mediocrity territory. And as Raptor fans, haven't we seen enough of that over their lifetime as a franchise?
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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    One issue with amnesty is teams cannot resign that player - at least that is how it was last time. So the idea of NYK making a deal with Chauncey is not possible (unless it is different this time). Also, if that was found out by the league then it would be Joe Smith in Minnesota all over again.

    As for the Raptors, I say trade Jose - and cut him if not trade can be found. I do not buy the veteran leadership. He is a calming influence on the court and great for Gatorade at halftiem. I think DeMar and Amir are the leaders of this team now. If veteran leadership is needed, re-sign Reggie because if you don't listen to him he grabs yer n*ts.

    I still feel Calderon makes a lot of sense for Minnesota and Webster makes a lot of sense for Toronto. The Raps could also take on Brad Miller for limited minutes or buy him out. Minnesota would be able to handle Calderon's contract as they only have $30M committed to next year ($25 if Miller is included) not counting Love, Beasley, and Randolph possible extensions.

    The Raps could make a decision on Webster for 2012-13 or wait until Chandler becomes available and sign him with cap space in March and say bye to Webster at the end of the year.

    Outside of DeAndre Jordan, I don't see much (besides Wilson Chandler) that would interest me in that list.

    I like the course the Raptors are on and would much prefer to spend next summer after this coming season weeds out who is staying long term (Bayless, Alabi, James Johnson).

    Actually, Hinrich would be really good if Calderon was gone but I don't see Atlanta letting him go unless the luxury tax starts at $58M.

    *EDIT* I use to be a huge Jeff Green fan as well but I've gone off on him. The Raps have too many 3/4 tweeners now as it is.
    Last edited by mcHAPPY; Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 02:18 PM.

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    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    I agree with Soft Euro. The problem with your theory is that cutting these players won't bring many of those teams under the cap, so what's the point?

    Correct me if im wrong but..

    In some situations wouldnt some teams be pulled out of the super luxury tax? if indeed they go to a 2:1 or 4:1 structure, might just get them out of paying exorbitant amounts of money without giving up a key piece of the basketball puzzle...

    Side note: I would personally love to see Mr. Hill or Mr. Battier in a Raps Jersey...Veteran Defensive Juggernauts with outstanding character are never bad for youthful development IMO.
    Last edited by SitnonDfence; Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 02:14 PM.

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    Cutting Jose if Bargnani is still on this team (who is payed as much for twice as long and is less productive and is, apparently, playing the only position this team is 'stacked' in) would be ridiculous.

    IF he was traded fine, but that amnesty has GOT to be used on Bargnani if there is no trading partner available.

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    Raptors Republic Starter albertan_10's Avatar
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    the idea of an amnesty clause is great, it's the fact that you then have to go and replace a player. say they cut Jose, what do they get back for him? nothing. or how would you say, "jose we want you but not at this price?" i doubt he'd be happy with cutting cut and then resigned for less. I understand why they want salaries cut back but i can't see why they would cut a single player. why not cut a bit from everyone?

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    Players would be fine with getting the clause ... they get paid in full ... and can go get another deal on top of that, wherever they want.

    Teams have to pay the bill, but then would have freedom under whatever cap rules are in place. It will ONLY be used by teams who have tons of money to spend and don't mind eating a contract entirely - just to spend more money on top of that.

    Small market teams don't look to this clause to save money, they still have to pay that player - they just lose his services and get cap room, which for small budget teams won't even happen.
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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    Quote GarbageTime wrote: View Post
    but that amnesty has GOT to be used on Bargnani if there is no trading partner available.
    I disagree with this SO much.
    You don't let someone of his Talent level leave for nothing. Sorry.
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    Raptors Republic All-Star ezz_bee's Avatar
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    To me their are 3 key factors which need to be in play in order for a team to make the decision to cut someone.

    1) They must be a current contender with a serious bid to get to the conference finals/nba finals
    2) They have a Limited Window to win a championship (players getting old or key players in final year of contracts)
    3) A player on a 1-2 year contract making more than 12 mil a season and is GROSSLY underachieving so they are seen as virtually untradeable (or close to it)

    If a team isn't a contender, then what's the point of paying a player to go away? If you can't trade them right now because their salary is to big you don't really have much to lose in just having them ride the pine for a year or two, when you can probably trade them or their contract expires.

    Even if you are a championship contender, if you window isn't going to close immediately after the season is over, than you can afford to wait to until next season to try and trade the player you are thinking about cutting. Situations where contenders are looking at a closing window? I would say lakers, mavs, spurs, magic.

    Why do I think that a player has to be making more than 12 mil per season to make it worth it? Because most contenders are willing to overspend anyway, and aren't afraid to deep rosters, if they have a guy making less than 12 mil a season than there is a good chance they can trade him, or they'll just pick up a new guy anyway. The 4 teams I've listed above as having their championship window closing have shown in the past they don't mind spending a lot of money and having deep rosters. However, if you have a player making more than 12 mil per season, they are going to be much harder to move, especially if they aren't producing on the court.

    To me the only player getting cut is Gilbert Areanas. The magic desperately need to have a good playoffs otherwise dwight is gone. It might be worth it to write off Gil's 20 mil, since it is widely considered top 5 if not number 1 on NBA worst contracts and we can probably agree that it would be hard for the magic to trade the contract unless they were taking on a similarly bad contract. So unless they pull turk w/ rashard lewis i don't see a trade happening. I could see the magic eating 20 mil to get out from under that contract and trying to scramble some pieces together to make a final run. This is of course working off the assumption that there will be a season this year.

    Although he doesn't quite fit my parameters, Richard Jefferson just hasn't really produced with the spurs and although I'm not sure he makes enough to make it worth it.

    In general I just don't see this amnesty clause getting used very often. It's great that salary of the player who gets cut doesn't go against the cap, but the team's still have to pay that salary out. In most cases I confident teams will ride that player out until their contract is tradeable or it expires.


    EDIT: I'm fairly sure this isn't part of deal, but I think it would be a great idea if the player who gets cut loses their cut salary if the sign with another NBA team. So if gilbert gets cut and then signs somewhere else in the NBA for 5 mil a year he has a choice: play for the new team @ 5 mil and lose the 20 or not play at all and get paid the 20 mil. The player could also use the fact that they have 20 mil waiting for them as a negotiation tactic to sign a low year high dollar contract to make up for most of the money they would end up losing. I think this is fair to both players and owners, because the owner's are taking the risk that if the player can't find a team to pay that player they are on the hook, and if the player always has the option of sitting out for a year (or more) if they want the big paycheck. I do think that players should be allowed to get their full salary if they decide to play for a league that isn't the NBA. So Areanas could take the 20 mil and play in spain for whatever they would pay him, then try to come back after his contract with the NBA team is done.
    Last edited by ezz_bee; Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 03:39 PM.
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    Raptors Republic Starter RapthoseLeafs's Avatar
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    Tim,

    Some things I agree with and others not so much – based on two assumptions:

    • 5% wage roll back.
    • Amnesty player (or free agent) can sign with ANY club – including their previous team


    No way Garnett gets cut. He's the heart of Boston and can't be replaced.
    And it won't bring Boston under the cap.
    According to Hoopshype numbers, Boston with a 5% salary roll back, and Garnett’s 21 million off the books, and back on at minimum Vet amount, puts the Celtics at about 50 million.

    Haywood is overpaid, but what does cutting him do for Dallas? They won't get under any cap, so they'd basically be losing a good center and insurance policy in case Chandler gets hurt.
    I believe you’re right here. However – and this may be out in left field – but is it possible to waive Jason Terry, resign him back at Vet minimum, trade Haywood and draft pick (with possible cash), to Raptors for say Ed Davis; resign Chandler (for about 9 mil to start), putting Dallas’s salary at about 53 million or less (and under the salary cap).

    Raps get a temporary Centre, while Dallas gets to snag another player for 5 or 6 million. For those who think this would "raise" us to mediocrity, I'd prefer we start our rebuild with a forward step - not a middling one that means more of the same crap that smells like tanking.

    Besides, if Haywood performs well, Raps could move him for another draft pick at the trade deadline, giving us three 1st rounders (ours, Dallas's, and Haywood's return pick). Raps could also use these three 1st rounders, and make two really good ones out of this. Or shift one pick out for an established player.

    Unless New York can sign a younger elite PG for long term, would they really cut Chauncey Billups, who is their only leader?
    Like Apollo said, if Billups thinks it could make an impact for the team, why not?
    .

    As for the others, I’m in agreement. There would have to be (other) unique moves, to make the amnesty work for these 3 teams:

    • the Spurs Richard Jefferson alone will not help their cap situation

    • “Flipping” Kirk Hinrich doesn’t help Atlanta. Fact is, with so many big contracts, Atlanta is screwed for the foreseeable future.

    • Mike Miller would bring only a marginal effect - and possibly below the cap for Miami.


    As I recall, when you’re near the Cap line, it’s better to be over, then under.

    .

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    Administrator Apollo's Avatar
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    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    - No way Garnett gets cut. He's the heart of Boston and can't be replaced. And it won't bring Boston under the cap.
    - And while Deng is overpaid, Chicago certainly won't want to lose him, especially when there's no guarantee they can replace him with similar talent with them still over the cap.
    Quote Apollo wrote: View Post
    Not if you think big picture. Dolan is swimming in money. It's nothing for him to drop $14M on a player. The Knicks are at $60M right now. If the cap is $58M this season and they had an under the table agreement with Billups that if they cut him and he signed on at the vet minimum they would then have $11M to spend in free agency to make the team better what do you think he's going to say? He gets $15M instead of $14M and he gets a better team. I don't know, tough call..
    Tim, fill in the blank: $72,473,961-$21,200,000= __________

    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    One issue with amnesty is teams cannot resign that player - at least that is how it was last time. So the idea of NYK making a deal with Chauncey is not possible (unless it is different this time). Also, if that was found out by the league then it would be Joe Smith in Minnesota all over again.
    Ah, very helpful. It was so long ago I had forgotten. No one has stated this what going to be the case and I assumed it would not be. If it's not the case, as I mentioned above, it would be a loop hole to allow teams to drop cap one time and keep the player on if he wants to stay. The the case of Garnett and Billups they wouldn't pull the trigger unless it were the case.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star slaw's Avatar
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    I agree with much of TimW's post above. Further, I would argue that buying out a player is, generally speaking, bad asset management. We have seen for the past 10 years in the NBA that any contract can be moved. Maybe not right now this second, but eventually. There might be one or two uniqure cases where you have addition by subtraction but, generally, you are just giving up an asset for nothing and that makes no sense to me.

    As for the Raps specifically, the two primary candidates (Bargs and Calderon) have far more value as controlled assets. If you want to get rid of those guys, then I would much rather explore the trade route than simply unloading them for nothing and then, at best, replacing them with similar players.

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    Administrator Apollo's Avatar
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    Quote GarbageTime wrote: View Post
    IF he was traded fine, but that amnesty has GOT to be used on Bargnani if there is no trading partner available.
    Quote Apollo wrote: View Post
    I don't think Bargnani will be in the guillotine for multiple reasons. First off he's super talented, young and seven foot. He has value to this team and other teams. Maybe Casey can get through to him. He's never had a defensive specialist of this level working with him night and day... I'm as skeptical as the next fan but it seems like we're heading towards finding out for sure. Not only that but if they claw back existing contracts his contract drops $500K this season, $550K next season and $600k in the final season. Furthermore I feel his market value is higher than his Raptors fan value. He's an asset, one of the biggest on the team, his contract is manageable and so they're not going to cut him. Not to mention based on what Casey and Colangelo have said over the summer they're going to give Bargnani a good run at PF. He could be on his last chance depending on who you talk to but one last chance is long enough to keep him off the chopping block at the least.
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    Quote slaw wrote: View Post
    I agree with much of TimW's post above. Further, I would argue that buying out a player is, generally speaking, bad asset management. We have seen for the past 10 years in the NBA that any contract can be moved. Maybe not right now this second, but eventually. There might be one or two uniqure cases where you have addition by subtraction but, generally, you are just giving up an asset for nothing and that makes no sense to me.

    As for the Raps specifically, the two primary candidates (Bargs and Calderon) have far more value as controlled assets. If you want to get rid of those guys, then I would much rather explore the trade route than simply unloading them for nothing and then, at best, replacing them with similar players.
    The game changer is the reduction of the max contracts, the reduction of the MLE, the elimination of the BAE and the reduction in the amount years on a contract. The whole pricing structure has changed.

    Also, if you don't like my list by all means please bring something to the table beyond just criticism. I'd love to see what scenarios you all think could play out. It's a lot harder to put your own neck out, I know.

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    Quote SitnonDfence wrote: View Post
    Correct me if im wrong but..

    In some situations wouldnt some teams be pulled out of the super luxury tax? if indeed they go to a 2:1 or 4:1 structure, might just get them out of paying exorbitant amounts of money without giving up a key piece of the basketball puzzle...

    Side note: I would personally love to see Mr. Hill or Mr. Battier in a Raps Jersey...Veteran Defensive Juggernauts with outstanding character are never bad for youthful development IMO.
    Yes, that's true, it would save luxury tax money, if that's where the CBA goes, but I don't know whether a contender would screw itself to save money, especially when some of those contracts are only for one more year. San Antonio certainly has been known to be cost conscience, but would they have signed him just last summer if they didn't want to pay? They don't have a history of making dumb moves like that.

    As for Hill and Battier, I like them far too much to want to see them come to a lottery team. That would be a waste of their talents.
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    You guys really think the NBA will allow players to be cut and then re-signed? I don't. At all. That would be WAY too much of advantage for contenders and would mean that there would be absolutely no downside to cutting a player. That's simply ridiculous.
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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    You guys really think the NBA will allow players to be cut and then re-signed? I don't. At all. That would be WAY too much of advantage for contenders and would mean that there would be absolutely no downside to cutting a player. That's simply ridiculous.
    The only downside would be paying them 100% and then another million to boot.

    But other than that, I totally agree.

    Evan after a player is traded and waived, the trading team has to wait 30 days before resigning.

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