Holt driving a new amnesty provision
We’ve suspected for some time that there would be a new amnesty provision built into the next CBA. At this point, that’s pretty much guaranteed. In fact, they’re going a step further and putting in a stretch provision too which should provide additional cap relief for teams. But going back to the amnesty rule, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported on Friday that Spurs owner Peter Holt was the leading voice on giving teams two years to decide who to use the amnesty rule on.
At first thought, this is a little curious, no? The Spurs screwed up on Richard Jefferson’s contract. There are practically no other candidates for using the amnesty rule on, outside of Varner’s suggestion that they could use it on what’s left of Antonio McDyess’s contract if Dice retires. Also, the Spurs will probably pay the luxury tax this season. Wouldn’t the Spurs want to get out from under that financial boulder that RJ dropped on them? (Or that they wedged themselves under?)
Well, not quite. This, like every year since 2005, could be the Spurs’ last ride. But seriously, this time it’s totally the last one. Maybe. Tim Duncan is in the last year of his contract. He could retire next summer or re-sign for a smaller deal. Who knows? I don’t know if you guys realized this or not, but TD’s got a bit of a poker face. Even if he comes back, he’s been on a steady decline. Manu Ginobili is also on the down slope of his career and it’s a good bet that Tony Parker has peaked. There are some good young pieces on the Spurs’ roster, however those pieces are more suited to complimentary roles going forward. I don’t see any future stars in the bunch and, as we’ve learned over the years, stars win you championships. Once the stars are done, you gotta replace them.
Peter Holt, RC Buford and Gregg Popovich may have plans in mind to take one last ride with the current talent and see where they end up next summer. Chances are high that the Spurs don’t win a title and exit the playoffs early. Or, they might wind up being contenders. Either way, paying Richard Jefferson to go away before the season starts makes it hard to replace the talent he brings to the team. Kawhi Leonard and Da’Sean Butler are unknowns. As is James Anderson to an extent. The Spurs will be paying RJ’s salary for the next three seasons anyway, might as well keep him around while they still have some sort of shot at contending.
When the Spurs are ready to rebuild, whether it’s next summer or the summer after, the Spurs could then exercise the amnesty provision on Jefferson and get
75% of his salary all of his moneys (Update: Howard Beck of the New York Times says it’s all going bye-bye under the new CBA) off the books. Or, the books that the salary cap counts against, at least. The extended amnesty window would give the Spurs more flexibility to decide whether Jefferson’s salary against the cap is worth it to try for one more shot at a title.