NBA: Revisiting The Amnesty Provision

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Carlos Boozer will likely be the answer to a future trivia question: Who was the last player waived under the 2011 amnesty provision? Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls exercised their amnesty provision earlier this month, taking Carlos Boozer and his remaining one year and $13.55 million off their salary cap for 2014-15.

At this point, however, it appears that Boozer will be the answer to a trivia question: Who was the last NBA player waived under the 2011 amnesty provision?

Each team could use the provision once during a five-year period from 2011-15 and beginning in 2012, teams had a five-day window after the end of the July moratorium period during which to exercise it.

Next year will be the last year any team could use the provision, but of the eight teams who have yet to do so, only three of them have players remaining who still qualify to be amnestied.

A player had to be under contract prior to the 2011 collective bargaining agreement and the only two players left in the league who fit the bill are highly unlikely to have it used next summer.

Two of those three players are Atlanta Hawks big man Al Horford and Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley, each of whom will have one year remaining on contracts signed prior to the new CBA as of next July.

The third is reigning MVP Kevin Durant, so we can forget about that one.

So it appears that nine teams—the Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz, along with the Thunder, Hawks and Grizzlies—will not have needed or wanted to seek relief from a contract under the provision.

The Thunder are an interesting case study, however, because if I had a dollar for every time I read or heard the word “amnesty” and the name “Kendrick Perkins” in a sentence, I’d have retired a long time ago.

General manager Sam Presti opted to not use the amnesty provision to clear the remaining one year and $9,154,342 left on Perkins’ four-year, $32,555,936 (plus incentives) extension he signed in March 2011, less than a week after he was acquired from the Celtics in a trade.

Boozer was the other player whose name was mentioned frequently in conjunction with the provision and the Bulls finally pulled the trigger this month.

Chicago had acquired Boozer in July 2010 in a sign-and-trade deal with the Jazz after agreeing to a five-year deal worth approximately $75 million.

So let’s revisit the amnesty clause and how it was used:

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