When a new collective bargaining agreement is finalized at some point, it appears that an amnesty clause similar to the one in 2005 will be included.
In '05, amnesty allowed clubs to waive one player with a burdensome contract and avoid paying the luxury tax penalty on that contract. According to reports, this new amnesty clause will also include significant salary-cap relief.
Recall in '05 that the Dallas Mavericks used the amnesty clause to waive Michael Finley. The club still owed him the $51.8 million that remained on his contract, but Dallas was spared from paying the dollar-for-dollar luxury tax.
Finley became an unrestricted free agent and signed with the San Antonio Spurs at the bargain rate of about $2.5 million, while the Mavs continued to pay the full amount of his original salary.
So, what would an amnesty clause mean for the Mavs this time around? Frankly, it probably won't be part of their immediate plans.
ESPN.com's Marc Stein and Chad Ford break down the amnesty candidates for all 30 teams and their likelihood to use it.
While Dallas' existing contracts for the 2011-12 season will keep it well above whatever new salary-cap figure emerges, the club does not possess any one awful contract it just can't wait to abandon. Because teams won't have to make a decision on amnesty within two weeks of a new CBA as in '05 -- reports suggest teams will be able to pocket the amnesty clause for use at a later time -- the Mavs would seem more likely to hold onto it heading into this season.
The Mavs can't make any decisions regarding Haywood until the future of starting center Tyson Chandler is decided. Chandler will be one of the top three free agents when the lockout is lifted. Also, competent big men always draw trade interest, so it might make little sense to use amnesty on Haywood even if Chandler returns.
Waiving Marion after he proved so valuable at both ends throughout the playoffs could be a real gut-punch to team chemistry and a massive void on the roster -- and much depends on the free agency outcome of Caron Butler -- as the Mavs seek to defend their title.
One potential amnesty snag for the Mavs is that it could actually expand the number of teams capable of pursuing Chandler. Because this amnesty clause will offer cap relief as well as luxury tax relief, it could put more dollars into the open market than originally expected. For example, a team that can dump a bad contract using the amnesty clause might then be able to pursue a free agent it otherwise could not afford.