Orlando Magic use amnesty clause to waive Gilbert Arenas

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The Orlando Magic have waived Gilbert Arenas, and designated him as the team’s amnesty player according to a team press release. This is perhaps the least surprising news of the day, as Arenas, on the books for $62 million over the next three seasons, was widely expected to be among the first players dropped under the new collective bargaining agreement’s amnesty provision.

Services of players released via amnesty will be available to be bid upon first by teams under the salary cap this week, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. And Howard Beck of the New York Times broke down how the whole amnesty thing works a couple of weeks back.

Under the amnesty provision, each team can waive one player and remove him from the salary cap — creating room to sign another player and potentially saving millions in luxury-tax penalties.

The money does not disappear. The player must still be paid. But the provision could give a few teams some relief and put an extra jolt in the free-agent market.

The “extra jolt in the free-agent market” is the really interesting part of this, because these high-dollar players who are no longer worth those big contracts can still contribute something in most cases, and should have no problem signing somewhere for the veteran minimum salary since they’re still being paid on their old contract.

Arenas played 49 games with the Magic last season, and averaged 8 points, 3.2 assists, and 2.4 rebounds in 21.8 minutes per game. Under his previous contract, those numbers would have been (and were) considered to be awful. But for a minimum financial commitment, he’ll be a nice addition for someone.