Five smart amnesty cuts
Also, could the Los Angeles Lakers still use clause on Kobe Bryant?
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Lakers used their amnesty clause on Metta World Peace on July 11.
It's finally July 10, meaning all of the exciting trades and free agent agreements that we've heard about finally can be consummated. The league released the official salary cap and luxury tax figures for 2013-14, so we have a clear idea of exactly how much space each team has to operate with.
July 10 is an important date for another reason: It marks the first day of "amnesty week," the window of opportunity for eligible franchises to wipe one salary off of their cap and tax ledgers, providing them with more flexibility moving forward. ESPN's Marc Stein listed the eligible amnesty able players on 13 qualified teams on TrueHoop, but let's take a deeper look and identify some candidates who should be released via the amnesty provision.
Whittling it down
There are 13 teams remaining that have not used their amnesty provision and still have players on their roster eligible for amnesty: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Sacramento, San Antonio, Toronto and Utah.
Of those 13 teams, we can safely assume that Atlanta, Boston, Memphis, San Antonio and Utah will not participate in amnesty week, as each of these teams' eligible players are either on rookie scale deals (e.g., Avery Bradley), extremely manageable contracts (e.g., Matt Bonner) or are stars (e.g., Al Horford).
Of the eight remaining teams, we can similarly strike off names like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Joakim Noah, players who are building blocks for their respective franchises. This leaves us with roughly 10-12 players who stand a chance of actually being amnestied. Here's a look at five candidates, along with a special situation and the reasons why teams would use the amnesty clause on them. I've broken them down into three categories below:
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