I have no doubt we will see an amnesty clause in the new NBA labor deal being hammered out. There was one in the last deal, there will be one now.
The amnesty clause allows teams to take one onerous contract off their books. It’s a way for teams to lower their salary to whatever the new guidelines are. However, the devil is in the details of the clause and the players will want assurances.
Which brings us to information via Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. In a piece detailing where things stand in the talks, he relays what he’s heard about the amnesty idea.
Under the league’s amnesty proposal, sources say teams would be able to waive a player and have up to 75 percent of his contract removed from the cap and tax, with the remaining balance amortized against the cap over the number of years left on the contract. The player would still be paid 100 percent of the guaranteed money owed; this would be an NFL-style cap management tool to help teams adjust to the new system.
So, let’s do a hypothetical. Lets say, maybe, the Orlando Magic want to dump Gilbert Arenas’ and his bloated contract. Hypothetically. According to Sham Sports numbers, Arenas is owed $62,432,762 total over the next four years. If the Magic used the amnesty clause, Agent Zero would be a free agent (but still get his money), while the Magic could wipe three-quarters of his salary off the books. The remaining $15.6 million would be spread over four year years, for an annual cap hit of $3.9 million.
The exact form of the amnesty provision may change a little, but you can bet there will be one. And it might even be named after Arenas.