The rumors suggesting that another amnesty clause may be included in the new collective bargaining agreement proved to be more than rumors. Back on May 18th 2011 NBA Draft Central speculated on which contracts were most likely to be “exorcised” via this cap-friendly exception. We also now chronicle how the clause has, or has not, been utilized.
After signing the last CBA the NBA’s players and owners provided for each team what came to be known as an amnesty clause. This clause allowed a team to drop one single contract from their cap. The team was still responsible for paying the player but the salary did not count against the cap. For those of you with elephant-like memories you will recall that this is how Dallas dropped the contract of Michael Finley. Keep in mind that teams that do not want to raise the amount of money they are sending out may choose not to exercise this option. Some of these players are good-to-great players who are earning an awful lot more money than maybe we think they should be.
Best bet: NONE
2012-07-07 – In trading both Marvin Williams and Joe Johnson, new GM Danny Ferry has made a believer out of me. Perhaps I gave him too much blame for the miserable talent around LeBron in Cleveland. He is making a play for Dwight Howard and Chris Paul and he will not have to eat any salary to do it. There are no longer any contracts on the Hawks’ ledger that are eligible for amnesty.
2012-03-20 – The Hawks have yet to use the amnesty clause and Marvin Williams has proven to be a solid young player who will just never live up to his draft status (picked immediately before Chris Paul and Deron Williams). Personally I believe that the Hawks have too many similar pieces and that they would be better served making deals than dumping good players. (For what it’s worth I would have entertained those Josh Smith for Rondo rumors AND looked into a Joe Johnson/Amare Stoudamire swap)
2011-05-18 – Our pick: Marvin Williams – 3 years; $24 million (player option for third year). Living in Atlanta I have a chance to see the Hawks more regularly than other teams and I believe going forward that the team’s best lineup involves a three-guard rotation of Jeff Teague, Kirk Hinrich and (soon to be free agent) Jamal Crawford with Joe Johnson as a small forward. The player once picked before Chris Paul and Deron Williams now seems to be redundant on a team with athletic forwards. His minutes are down and it would appear his confidence is as well; ultimately his improvement has stopped and he is being paid too much to be coming off the bench behind an all-star.
Best bet: NONE
2012-07-07 – The only contract that could foresee-ably be amnestied is Paul Pierce if his production takes a MAJOR decline this season, and it is unlikely even then.
2012-03-20 – The Celtics saved their amnesty clause and it is likely that they never use it during the course of this CBA. The large contracts of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Jermaine O’Neal come off the books after this year is over. Only captain Paul Pierce, star PG Rajon Rondo, and former 1st rd picks Avery Bradley and JaJuan Johnson will remain.
2011-05-18 – Our prediction: Nobody. The Celtics have only the large contracts of its best player (Paul Pierce) and its future best player (Rajon Rondo) on the books for the long term. Other than second year guard Avery Bradley, only Garnett, Ray Allen (player option), and Jermaine O’Neal are under contract and all are one year deals. Nenad Kristic is unrestricted and the team does have some restricted free agents to contend with (Jeff Green and Glen Davis) as well. Unless Garnett (1 year; $21 million) is dumped for a rebuilding project there should be no need for the clause to figure into their plans.
Best bet: USED (Travis Outlaw).
2012-03-21 – The New Jersey Nets used their amnesty provision on Travis Outlaw.
2011-05-18 – Our Prediction: Travis Outlaw – 3 years; $24 million. This is a no-brainer. New Jersey wanted so bad to make some type of a splash and they made a belly flop instead by signing Outlaw and Johan Petro. Dropping Outlaw’s ridiculous deal would put the Nets substantially under the cap. However, they also moved the third pick in the draft and their best young player (Derrick Favors) to Utah for Deron Williams. Keeping him could prove difficult after another year of being terrible.
Best bet: Tyrus Thomas.
2012-03-20 – The Charlotte Bobcats did not use their amnesty clause prior to the season. While they don’t have a shortage of over-paid under-performers, they also are working with the most constricted budget in the league. It seems that they simply can’t afford to pay someone not to play.
2011-05-18 – Our prediction: DeSagana Diop – 2 years; $14 million (player option for second year). His deal isn’t that long but his contribution is even less. However, the Bobcats are historically cheap and getting picks for Gerald Wallace signals a rebuilding project, so cutting ties with Stephen Jackson would make sense along that line. Tyrus Thomas signed a big deal last summer and didn’t really get any better so jettisoning his deal could be viewed as a positive gain by management as well. I think the team is better served hanging onto those players.
Best bet: Carlos Boozer, once a better option opens up via sign-and-trade.
2012-03-20 – Deng is still a Bull and they are still winning so “it is what it is”. That said, a Joakim Noah for Dwight Howard deal works of they decide to eat the Deng deal… just saying. However, there is just as much credence to the idea that Carlos Boozer could be jettisoned due to: 1.) having Taj Gibson on the roster and 2.) He is more difficult to trade than Deng.
2011-05-18 – Our prediction: Luol Deng – 3 years; $40 million. I know, I know. He’s playing great right now. Is he worth what he’s making though? He is a great defensive player and a good teammate but he doesn’t really deserve the big payday he got. The team could decide to re-sign him for less and use the cap room (and a player) to bring in a real shooting guard to complement Derrick Rose via trade. Don’t forget that the team also has two late 1st round picks.
Best bet: USED (Baron Davis)
2012-03-21 – Cleveland chose to use their amnesty clause on Baron Davis.
2011-05-18 – Our prediction: Baron Davis – 2 years; $29 million. If Cleveland is using the blue-print that OKC used for building a good young team than they are all set. Dumping Davis opens up a large cache of cap room – and the same thing will happen next year when Antawn Jamison will come off the books (if he’s not traded for picks first). The only long term deal they have is Andersen Varejao who is locked up for an average of $9mil/year for the next four years. Considering that he has made the all-defense team before and can legitimately play center it would seem that his deal is reasonable.
Best bet: USED (Brendan Haywood)
2012.07.11 – Dallas may have missed out on getting Deron Williams and Dwight Howard but they went ahead and dropped the enormous contract of Brendan Haywood anyways. The money they gained helped them trade for Darren Collison and sign O.J. Mayo and Chris Kaman AS WELL AS claim Elton Brand off of amnesty waivers from Philadelphia.
2012-03-21 – Dallas has a master plan in place to add Deron Williams and Dwight Howard in the next two off-seasons. Whenever they need to use it on Haywood’s contract to achieve this end, they will. The team also needs to move the contract of Shawn Marion, so if Haywood was traded (not likely) then Marion would be amnestied.
2011-05-18 – Our prediction: Brendan Haywood – 5 years; 47 million. The key to Dallas in the playoffs this year is that they have some muscle and intimidation up front with Tyson Chandler (a pending unrestricted free agent) and Brendan Haywood. However, if Dallas re-signs Chandler then his backup Haywood’s deal kinda becomes a bad contract. It all comes down to whether or not having a great backup plan for another Chandler injury is worth that kind of money.
Best bet: USED (Chris Andersen).
2012-07-17) – Denver used its amnesty exception on Chris Andersen.
2012-03-21 – Harrington is still the only big deal that the Nuggets have on the books. The team extended Danilo Galinari’s deal; and after the trade deadline they will now have to deal with the restricted status of JaVale McGee – which will cost some dough.
2011-05-18 – Our prediction: Al Harrington – 2 years; $13 million (plus two team options for a total of another $15 million). Harrington’s deal is the only significant deal that the team has beyond this year so it becomes the obvious choice for dumping given that Harrington’s skills on this roster are pretty redundant after the Carmello trade. The deal is actually pretty reasonable and they could decide to retain his services just as easily.
Best bet: Charlie Villanueva, more likely NONE.
2012-07-07 – The Pistons were granted a reprieve when Charlotte took the contract of Ben Gordon in trade. Coupled with their unbelievable luck in drafting Andre Drummond, they could be a fringe playoff team this year and may choose to keep Charlie V for one more year and enter the free agent fray next year with a boat-load (as much as $25M) of money.
2012-03-21 – The Pistons are mired in NBA limbo. However, what would you have them do? They need talent. The only way to get talent is to draft high or play in Florida. Since Detroit is not in Florida they need to be bad in order to get good players each year. Adding Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight the last two drafts were great steps in the right direction. Whether or not they dump Gordon or Villanueva now or later may be a moot point since neither are helping them win. In two years when those contracts end and the buyout of Richard Hamilton’s deal comes off their cap they should have a collection of talent AND cap-room. But, these next two years could be long for their fans.
2011-05-18 – Our prediction: – Ben Gordon – 3 years; $37 million (third year player option). The Pistons will be under to cap if Tayshaun Prince walks but if they use him in a sign-and-trade they will still lack any flexibility especially considering Rodney Stuckey’s pending restricted free agency. The team will likely get a talented big in the draft to pair with Greg Monroe up front and getting Jonas Jerebko back from injury (he is a restricted free agent too) is an underrated gain. However in order to really make big strides the team needs to figure out its rotation. The Stuckey-Gordon-Hamilton logjam has to be resolved and it seems that Villanueva may not be tough enough or consistent enough to stick in the D. Hamilton has just one year and a partially guaranteed second year left so he seems to be safest among the three likely candidates.
Best bet: USED (Charlie Bell)
2012-07-07 – To be honest, I forgot they used this. It was such an inconsequential move at the time that it really just slipped my mind. This is just one example of mismanagement from the past that the current regime has to deal with. Good luck guys!
2012-06-01 – If you look at the names of the longest deals for the most money there is one name that stands out as not belonging: David Lee. I like Lee, just not for Max money. If new ownership is serious about winning then they need to be more efficient with their cap space, ie: lose Lee one way or another.
2012-03-21 – The team was able to trade Monta Ellis’ monster deal for a more useful monster deal (Andrew Bogut) but the price was to give up recent high draft pick Ekpe Udoh AND take back Richard Jefferson’s monster deal (which is not eligible to be amnestied). Hmmm. Overall, I can’t blame them for making the deal, but they are going to have to continue to work on the roster in order to clear the books. The addition of Bogut makes the over-paid Biedrins expendable.
2011-05-18 – Our prediction: Monta Ellis – 3 years; $33 million. Ellis is best suited to be a third guard or a shooting guard playing alongside a big point guard. Clearly this is going to be Stephen Curry’s team going forward so Ellis is more likely to leave. The team tried trading him all year but nobody would bite on his large contract. As talented as he is the team is just too cap-strapped to pay him that kind of money. The other very legitimate option is dumping the contract of big man Andris Biedrins. I assume that he would be easier to trade than Ellis since he is a solid rebounder and a legit center.
Best bet: USED (Luis Scola)
2012.07.11 – The Rockets surprised me and went all-in on Dwight Howard by dropping their best front court player. Scola was quickly picked up by Phoenix and the Rockets will either land the big fish or contend for lottery balls this year. I applaud their gutsiness since they narrowly missed the playoffs each of the last two years.
2012-03-21 – The Rockets are in good shape. Brad Miller was traded to Minnesota, who wanted him despite his not being a PG. The Rockets have a collection of young players around a couple of solid players (Kevin Martin and Luis Scola) and it seems to be working. They are always pro-active in trying to upgrade the talent and they have the financial flexibility to do so in the future.
2011-05- Our prediction: Brad Miller – 2 years; $10 million. The Rockets entire roster is made up of young players on rookie deals or solid vets in reasonable contracts. The only contract that I would think they might consider dumping is that of Miller. However, with Yao probably retiring – leaving cap room in his wake – they may want to hang on to the gritty Miller in case they cannot find a suitable tall replacement. However they do have Hasheem Thabeet, Patrick Patterson, Jordan Hill, and DeMarre Carroll up front if they continue to play Luis Scola out of position at the five.
Best bet: Used (James Posey)
2012-03-21 – The Indiana Pacers used their amnesty clause on James Posey enabling them the space to sign David West.
2011-05-18 – Our Prediction: James Posey – 1 year; $7 million. The Pacers have a boatload of expiring contracts going into the off-season and only Danny Granger has a cap number over $3 mil, except for Posey, whom the team took on from New Orleans in the Darren Collison deal. Dumping Posey’s last year would give the team as much as $30 million dollars in cap-room under the old system. What they can actually do with it this year to improve long-term is debatable.
Best bet: USED (Ryan Gomes)
2012.07.11 – Gomes had only one year and $4M on his deal but Phoenix didn’t want him back in a sign and trade so the move was made to facilitate the Clipps signing Grant Hill.
2012-03-21 – The Clippers have been laying golden eggs since trading “the Kyrie Irving pick” for cap space. However, they will be faced with an extension for Nick Young in the off-season and the large contract given to Caron Butler may look unreasonable once the team realizes how much it will take to keep Paul, Jordan and Griffin together. Williams’ deal is only one year (a player’s option) and he has been productive.
2011-05-18 – Our Prediction: Mo Williams – 2 years; $17 million. The Clippshow swapped Williams’ pink for Baron Davis’ oversized one and gave up the top pick in the draft to do it, ouch. Essentially they sold the top pick in the draft for $14 million dollars, if they choose to dump Mo. Sounds like a “Sterling” financial transaction if I ever heard one. The other possibility is dumping the last year of Chris Kaman’s deal ($12 million).
Best bet: Ron Artest.
2012-03-21 – The team had no reason to eat Artest’s deal when they had so many bad deals already, but now they have masterfully parlayed their two 2012 1st rd picks into financial flexibility (by dumping Luke Walton and Derek Fisher’s inflated deals) dropping Artest after the season becomes inevitable.
2011-05-18 – Our Prediction: Ron Artest – 3 years; 22 million. For a long time Luke Walton’s deal has been one of the worst contracts (factoring in both years and amount) in the league, however I think that Artest’s deal might be the one to go if the Lakers get a choice. Walton’s deal only has $11 mil over two years remaining. If the Lakers are going to start positioning themselves for a run at Chris Paul or Dwight Howard next year they are going to need to start getting some flexibility now.
Best bet: Anyone they could amnesty has trade value; likely NONE.
2012-03-21 – The Grizz impressively did what was needed to bring back last year’s team without doing anything desperate (like dropping Gay) and are going to make their run with what they have. It is noteworthy that they are up against the luxury tax line and if they start to lose, the dismantling will likely be fast and furious.
2011-05-18 – Our Prediction: If we have to pick someone: Rudy Gay – 4 years; $70 million. The Grizzlies improved leaps and bounds this year and it would seem that the future could be bright after they were able to lock Zach Randolph into an extension. However, they failed to trade O.J. Mayo to Indiana at the deadline and now he is restricted, they no longer have the advantage of having unrestricted free agent Marc Gasol as a secret. In order to keep him they are going to need a boatload of cash. The question is whether or not they would be willing to unload Gay in order to have the cash to keep the team that advanced in to the playoffs together. It’s possible they would try to trade Gay for picks and a trade exception as Minnesota did with Al Jefferson last year.
Best bet: No need, yet.
2012-07-07 – It remains to be seen if Mike Miller retires and whether it is deemed medically necessary (which gives luxury tax relief).
2012-03-21 – The Heat and Pat Riley are in it to win it and their BIG money is rolled up in their stars.
2011-05-18 – Our Prediction: Mike Miller – 4 years; $24 million. Now, I don’t really think that the Heat would dump Miller after he took “less” to be part of the greatest free-agent haul in history but if the Heat were to dump a contract it would likely be Miller. I cannot imagine that they would be willing to gamble against him bouncing back from injury for a rival AND still have to pay him. Look for the Heat to add salary via whatever exceptions are available to them with the new CBA. – On a side note: IF there is a hard-cap implemented the Heat are going to be seriously restricted going forward from adding “role-players” to their core, let alone, keeping restricted free agent Mario Chalmers.
Best bet: possibly Drew Gooden (3 yrs/20M)
2012-03-21 – I doubt that the small market Bucks would eat Gooden’s deal since he has played well for them and was brought in by the current regime. Beno Uduh – who has a near 8M player option for 2012-13 – is not eligible since he was acquired via trade for John Salmons’ crazy contract.
2011-05-18 – Our Prediction: John Salmons – 4 years; $40 million. Milwaukee took a step backwards this year despite being in the “shallower” Eastern Conference. They have a good mix of young bigs with Andrew Bogut, Larry Sanders, Ersan Ilyasova and the gritty vet Drew Gooden. Michael Redd’s huge deal turns into sweet cap-room elixir and dumping the under-achieving Salmon’s freshly signed deal would add to that war chest.
Best bet: USED (Darko Milicic)
2012.07.11 – Just another low point on the resume of the former #2 overall pick. They dropped him in order to sign Nicholas Batum to an offer-sheet that was quickly matched by Portland. Then MInnesota used some of the money to sign Greg Steisma. Yup.
2012-03-21 – Most of the Timberwolves’ roster are young players on rookie deals or reasonable (under 5M) veteran deals.
2011-05-18 – Our Prediction: Luke Ridnour – 3 years; $14 million (if Ricky Rubio finally arrives). Minnesota is going to be under the cap whether or not they dump a contract but if Ricky Rubio comes over from the Euroleague they can offset the salary – and open up the starting job – by dumping Ridnour. Another option would be dropping Martell Webster (2 years; $11 million second year team option).
Best bet: NONE.
2012-07-07 – The trade of BOTH Okefor AND Ariza to Washington paves the way for New Orleans to rebuild the team in the newly-christened Anthony Davis era without having to eat salary. They may wish they could use it in a year or two if they match Phoenix’ offer sheet to Eric Gordon though….
2012-06-01 – Once the new ownership group takes over we’ll see what type of owner Mr. Benson will be. They have won the Anthony Davis lottery and need to re-sign Eric Gordon but once those things are complete they will need to concentrate on their cap situation. Chris Kaman is unrestricted and Okefor is owed a lot of dough. They also have the inflated deal of Trevor Aria, who still contributes.
2012-03-21 – The team is still up for sale and the league has proven that it is not going to approve anything but hovering in place continuing to lose until new management is in place.
2011-05-18 – Our Prediction: none. The Hornets desperately want to be able to keep Chris Paul but everything seems to working against them. First they lose David West costing them a legitimate chance of beating the Lakers in the first round now they are one year closer to franchise Armageddon. They only deals they have they could drop besides West are Paul’s friends Jarrett Jack and Trevor Ariza or the anchor of their defense Emeka Okefor. They have no first round pick and will have no cap room. I can almost guarantee that Paul will be traded this year if no “franchise player” is introduced in the new CBA. The clock is ticking…
Best bet: USED (Chauncey Billups)
2012-03-21 – The Knicks used their amnesty clause on the last year of Chauncey Billups’ contract. The move allowed them to sign unrestricted free agent Tyson Chandler.
2011-05-18 – Our Prediction: Renaldo Balkman – 2 years; $3.5 million. That is about all there is. They cannot afford to drop Ronny Turiaf’s size and his deal is only one year. The team exercised the team option on Chauncey Billups which puts off their cap room until next year when they have to deal with Landry Fields’ restricted free agency while they try to land another superstar for their collection.
Best bet: Not necessary.
2012-03-21 – Nate Robinson reached a buyout with the team and they traded BJ Mullens to Charlotte in order to open a roster spot. The OKC team does too good a job to need this.
2011-05-18 – Our Prediction: none. No team has been more responsible with their cap-room over the last few years and they do not have any bad deals. OKC’s backups are paid like backups and their superstar is the only player they have that is paid like one. Nate Robinson (1 year; $4.5 million) – who hasn’t really fit in since coming over from Boston and he is blocked by the younger and cheaper Eric Maynor – could be a candidate.
Best bet: USED. (Gilbert Arenas). Duh.
2012-03-21 – Orlando used their amnesty clause on Gilbert Arenas. Dwight Howard has agreed to stay on for one more year. Now the Magic need to rid themselves of the contract of Hedo Turkoglu. Ugh.
2011-05-18 – Our Prediction: Gilbert Arenas – 3 years; $62 million. There is nothing to say. Orlando doesn’t mind spending money and they need to do whatever they can to try and keep Dwight Howard long-term or make sure that they have a back-up plan if they need to trade him.
Best bet: USED. Elton Brand (1yr/18M)
2012-07-07 – Philadelphia, as expected, used their amnesty clause on the last year of Elton Brand’s contract.
2012-03-21 – Dropping Brand is still a possibility but the team is not surprisingly winning under Doug Collins and may not want to do anything to disrupt chemistry.
2011-05-18 – Our Prediction: Elton Brand – 2 years; $35 million. Dropping Brand would accomplish two things: 1.) get the team under the cap, and 2.) remove their only reliable low post scorer. This team has plenty of good young players and the right guy coaching them but they are paying good players (Brand and Iguodala) star money and are stuck in neutral because of it. This team may have to take a step back in order to surge forward but the question is whether or not they are aggressive enough to do what needs to be done.
Best bet: Too cheap to use on Josh Childress.
2012-06-01 – The Suns really do not have a lot of financial obligations but the money owed Childress is certainly disproportional to his contributions. Not sure that the owner (Robert Sarver) would ever pay someone not to pay though. If he does, Childress would be the best bet.
2011-05-18 – Our Prediction: Josh Childress – 4 years; $27 million. I don’t think that the Childress deal is as awful as it has made out to be but it is worth noting that the Suns gave similar deals to Channing Frye, Jared Dudley, AND Hakim Warrick which all added together COULD have been a much better player. I think that going forward Frye and Dudley are good fits next to Marcin Gortat and that Aaron Brooks is a great heir-apparent to Steve Nash. Childress’ deal isn’t too bad but it is longer than Warrick’s and it is redundant if Dudley is the starter.
Best bet: USED (Brandon Roy)
2011-12-15 – Portland used their amnesty clause on Brandon Roy (4yrs/54M)
2011-05-18 – Our Prediction: Brandon Roy?? – 4 years; $54 million. This could get tricky. Portland has to wonder how they can justify risking that kind of money on a player who could be injured again AND who they have cheaper, more-than legitimate backups for (Wesley Matthews and Nicholas Batum). I think Roy can still play at a high level if he can stay healthy but that does look like a big IF. Portland has an option for Andre Miller and one more year of Marcus Camby so losing Roy doesn’t give them any significant cap room this year so they may be better served to see what the trade market could bring.
Best bet: NONE
2012-06-01 – For a team that struggles to reach the minimum team payroll limit it seems weird to think of them clearing space. However, they do have some bad deals on the books – there is a reason that Sacramento has been terrible right? The Marcus Thornton deal seems nuts 3yrs/24.5M, but it is ineligible. The Salmons deal they acquired for Udrih is just as bad, but is ineligible since it was acquired via trade.
2011-05-18 – Our Prediction: Beno Udrih – 2 years; $15 million (second year player option). No team has more cap-room and it would seem that no team could make bigger strides this off-season. They are building around Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins and they have good young players in Omri Casspi, Jason Thompson, restricted free agent Marcus Thornton, and Donte Greene. They also have the option to sign-and-trade Samuel Dalembert, who should be in demand this off-season. Garcia has been injured for much of his career and his position is already filled. Udrih’s deal is essentially the same length but they don’t necessarily have a true PG to replace him if he is lost. However, I think that they could draft a PG in the first round (Kemba Walker).
Best bet: No one, most of their contracts end the same time at which they will rebuild.
2012-06-01 – the deteriorating skills of Richard Jefferson were dumped on the Warriors for a re-energized Stephen Jackson; while he is over-paid, he is still productive.
2011-05-18 – Our Prediction: Richard Jefferson – 3 years; $30.5 million. The Spurs looked really old in the playoffs. The warrior Antonio McDyess has talked about retirement and the team gave extensions to Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili recently. Even after letting Jefferson walk they will still be capped out so they may just choose to sit tight although letting him go now will add to next year’s cap space when Tim Duncan’s deal runs out.
Best bet: Amir Johnson, but not a slam-dunk.
2012-06-01 – Calderon had a good year last year and being in his last year makes him more valuable as a trade asset. It’s possible that Amir Johnson could be shown the door but they have pretty clean books already.
2011-05-18 – Our Prediction: Jose Calderon – 2 years; $20 million. The Raptors have a nice group of young players around former #1 pick Andrea Bargnani (Ed Davis, DeMar DeRozan, Jerryd Bayless, and James Johnson) and a nice pick in the upcoming draft. They also have two good options for dropping contracts in Calderon or Amir Johnson (4 years; $25 million). I figure that they are looking hard at drafting PG Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker – so dropping Calderon would open the door for playing time for the rookie. It would also add almost twice as much cap room THIS year than dropping Johnson would.
Best bet: Likely no one.
2012-06-01 – The Jazz made a late push and made the playoffs so the direction of the team is in question. They have a talented front court with Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. Once Kanter is ready to start they could jettison the big money of Jefferson (via trade or otherwise). The team really needs to address the back court though and the money could be used to that end.
2011-05-18 – Our Prediction: Mehmet Okur. Utah has a very rare problem: too many skilled big men. They have Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap as well as youngster Derrick Favors and Okur. There is a good chance that Utah could take another big (Kanter) with the third pick, adding to the logjam. Okur was injured most of last year so he may not have a lot of trade value and that makes him a good possibility if Utah wants to add some more cap-space to their already sizeable cache.
Best bet: USED (Andray Blatche)
2012.07.11 – Blatche is a great talent but he just wore his welcome out in our nation’s capital. The team brought in mature veterans and they already have a boat-load of youth. If he gets his head on straight, he could be very good somewhere else.
2012-06-01 – While Lewis seems a possibility, the minimum payroll limit looms as a good reason to do nothing. Dropping Rashard’s mega deal would mean having to sign other players in order to not be penalized. The team has been trying to move the talented Andray Blatche and his attitude to no avail so we believe that he may be the more likely candidate for amnesty.
2011-05-18 – Our Prediction: Rashard Lewis – 2 years; $46 million. Another no-brainer… The big question is whether or not the Wiz would be willing to pay him that kind of money to play for someone else. They were willing to buy Mike Bibby out in order to get a first round pick from Atlanta so anything is possible. Otherwise the rest of their books are in good shape.