Amnesty players may not help high payroll teams much


Here was the scenario: Teams would use the new amnesty clause in the labor deal to wipe out the oversized contracts of guys who could still contribute some (just not at the level they are getting paid). As a hypothetical example, we will make up a player named B. Roy who plays in the Pacific Northwest.

When he was cut free (and still getting paid) this B. Roy would then jump to a loaded team that needs a guard — the Lakers, the Heat — and play on a minimum deal to help them get a title. He would chase a ring.

Except, it’s not going to shake out that way — teams under the salary cap will get a chance to bid on said player first. From Cowbell Kingdom, who seemed to notice this first (via SBN):

A modified waiver process will be utilized for players waived pursuant to the Amnesty rule, under which teams with Room under the Cap can submit competing offers to assume some but not all of the player’s remaining contract. If a player’s contract is claimed in this manner, the remaining portion of the player’s salary will continue to be paid by the team that waived him.

So let’s got back to our hypothetical. When B. Roy is waived as an amnesty player, teams under the salary cap — say, the Pacers — can submit bids to take over part of his salary and whichever team has the highest bid will get his services. (Roy will still get all his money, his former team has to pick up the difference.) Only if a player is not bid by teams under the cap does he become a free agent who can go play somewhere else for the minimum.

What that means is that if a guy really can contribute teams with lower payrolls get the first shot at getting him cheaply. The Heat are going to have to find another way to better role players around their big three than just picking up the amnesty clause scraps.