The New Amnesty Waiver Rules could be a boon for the Nets

I haven't seen much mentioned on this site about the new rules yet, but it provides a huge advantage to the Nets & other under the cap teams.


The league has tried to fix that last issue by creating a waiver process for players cut via amnesty, according to the details of the league’s proposal. The net result is that teams under the cap will have the first shot at any amnesty victims, preventing those players from flocking to contenders over the cap (the Lakers, Mavericks, Celtics, Spurs, Magic, Bulls and even the Grizzlies). Here’s a slightly simplified version of how it will work:

• Say the Trail Blazers use their amnesty provision on Brandon Roy, who is set to make $15 million this season and $69 million over the four years left on his contract. Releasing Roy would not take the Blazers under the cap — a reason they might wait — but it would take them under the dollar-for-dollar luxury-tax line.

• When we first contemplated amnesty, we thought Roy would then be a free agent, able to sign with any team. Fans of contending teams salivated over picking up quality veterans on minimum salaries — cheap contracts they’d be willing to take, since their old team would still be paying their full salary.

But this is not what will happen. Instead, Roy would be placed into a hybrid waiver market open only to teams under the salary cap. Those teams would then submit bids detailing how much of Roy’s $15 million salary they’d like to pay. The highest bidder gets him; Roy has no choice in the matter. The winning team will pay only the money it offered in its bid, with Portland paying the rest. So, if the Hornets, desperate for a shooting guard and able to get under the cap if they lose David West, bid $4 million for Roy and win, the Blazers would be on the hook for the remaining $11 million.

As you can see, the system prevents players from joining contenders on the cheap and from earning two salaries at once — at least, if someone under the cap claims them.


Oh, yeah, there’s also a modified waiver process involving released players.. Teams with room under the cap (as many as 19 depending on what they do re free agent cap holds) may submit competing offers to assume some, but not all, of the player’s remaining contract. Nobody I spoke to was able to define "some" for me.

As I understand it, the Amnesty Auction is "silent" and bidders are unaware of competing offers ... are limited to one bid per waived player ... and multiple players may be aggregated, providing teams remain under the cap.

Ideally, that would allow teams far below the cap — including the Kings ($28 million) and Pacers ($35M) — to amass assets and use those players in trades. The league, of course, might view that as trying to circumvent the spirit of the rule.

Lastly, if a contract is claimed in the above manner, the remaining portion of the player’s salary will continue to be paid by the team that waived him.


What happens to unclaimed amnestied players? They become unrestricted free agents and have the opportunity to double dip for whatever they can get from any team that can afford them within the salary cap confines.

Read more:

Under the cap teams could cheaply fill out their rosters with amnestied players without having to worry about teams like the Lakers & Celtics stockpiling guys like Roy & Baron Davis. There's also incentive for teams to amnesty players ASAP. Serviceable but overpaid players like RJ, Lewis, Roy, etc. would definitely fetch offers that could offset a good chunk of their remaining salary. Since only under the cap teams can bid, the Nets could find themselves with a few such players with little competition in the bidding process.

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