Woj: Spurs to use amnesty on RJ

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Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Twitter earlier that the Spurs have decided they will use the amnesty on Richard Jefferson. And this was pretty much how every Spurs fan reacted.

This comes on the heels of both Caron Butler and Josh Howard, each a free agent small forward, making visits to the Alamo City to meet with Spurs officials. In recruiting pitches that I can only hope would make the University of Miami proud, the Spurs can offer up to the full mid-level exception of $5 million per year to either player. If the Spurs hadn’t used the amnesty on RJ, they would only be able to offer the mid-level of around $3 million a season that is available to luxury tax-paying teams.

We’ll see where this goes. I have reservations about Caron Butler’s affinity for the jab-step, jab-step, jab-step, jab-step, jumper from 18 feet go-to move, as well as concerns about the health of both players, especially in a compressed season. If either is signed on December 9 when free agency opens, we’ll look at how they fit with the team.

As far as Richard Jefferson and the money he’s owed, it may not be so bad (Spoiler alert: it will probably be so bad). RJ has three seasons and $30 million left on his deal. Once he’s amnestied, as expected, the Spurs are temporarily on the hook for paying the rest of his salary, but it doesn’t count against the cap. For the next two days after RJ is amnestied, he is in a sort of waiver system where teams that are under salary cap can bid to take the remaining years on Jefferson’s contract. To be more specific, teams under the cap can say “We’ll take those three years left and pay Richard Jefferson $3 million per year.”

If someone else comes in during those two days willing to pay more than that $3 million per year, they get him. The Spurs hope that bidding goes as high as possible. For every dollar per season that someone takes of Jefferson’s, the Spurs don’t have to pay it. So if the highest bidder picks up RJ for $4 million per season, the Spurs are only on the hook for paying $6 million per season of RJ’s salary. Jefferson is going to get his $30 million over the next three seasons, how much of it the Spurs pay just depends on how high another team values RJ.

And if no one places a bid after two days, RJ becomes a free agent who can sign with anyone and the Spurs have to pay for all of RJ’s $30 million. Pray for some generous owners, people.

Unfortunately, though, this move doesn’t improve the big man rotation.

  • Nima K.

    Cant believe the league would interfere to stop the Lakers-NOLA-Rockets trade. It would’ve been a win-win-win for everyone, especially NOLA. Now, CP3 walks away as a FA (probably to NY), and NOLA gets zilch in return. As usual, the small market team is screwed. I thought the entire lockout was about addressing this very problem. Well done Stern, well done. Now youve really messed things up.

  • Nima K.

    Maybe its better if we just tank out this season, and re-build from scratch this summer. 

  • Hobson13

    Even if we cut Jefferson, I don’t think we have a serious problem at the 3.  Look, we have virtually no shot at another title unless we pull off a crazy trade so let’s just slot Leonard into that position and let him get experience.  Besides, our real problem is with our bigs.  Dyess may retire, Blair took a step backwards late last year, and we still have that clown Bonner.  We need to use our MLE on a big.  However, if some are dying for another SF, it appears that the Pistons are going to buy out Richard Hamilton.  He would absolutely solve any issue at the 3. 

  • Anonymous

    Hate to say it, but KL will be getting minutes, whether this season or next, at PF in small ball lineups. Like the taller RJ, he is destined to split time at both forward spots. Despite overwhelming evidence that size wins, especially in the playoffs, quality size is all too rare; there just aren’t enough quality bigs to go around, and what’s more, the Spurs don’t have them.

    DAL won using Marian at both forward spots, and Portland’s most effective lineups are with either Wallace or Batum at the 4. We’ll see if KL can get to the level of Marian or Wallace, but that his been his game so far. His hopefully improved jumper won’t change his positional placement, so much as it improves his value at either spot.

    The Mavs had Dirk, TC (who spent his early career as a PF), and Haywood. Did they play TC and BH together? Nope. And that trio is a LOT more formidable than anything we could bring to the floor. Barring unimaginable improvement from DB, MB, and Tiago, each and all, Pop will be up to his same old tendencies. Even the gargantuan /ak*r$ slid Artest to the 4 when Bynum was injured.

  • Dr. McCoy

    Deeds130, It’s intresing that RJ was at training camp, while Josh Howard still is trying to weigh on his decision to play for us. Right now, I’m kinda awesrtuck with why the FO going through with this move of amnesting RJ & replacing him with Howard. This would be RJ’s 3rd year & one would hope that he, at this point, should be MORE eperienced, familiar & improved in the “Spurs system” vs what Josh Howard would bring, other than a new personality, a different skill-set, but on the other end of the spectrum, inexperience of the system & team chemistry issues. I believe that with this shortened season, team chemistry WILL play an important factor to the road to the championship. It is agreed that this team NEEDS a decient BIG who can defend. The Spurs don’t have the moolah to spend for a BIG unless they do trade. UH OH! there goes that chemistry issue thingy again! Another issue will be Dice & if he’s willing to be lured out of potential retirement to play another season. Hmmm… If not, then I can see Fab making a return for cheap as a resolution to the BIG problem we are facing.  So, unlike any other team that is busy adding new faces to their teams, unfortunatly, as much as we, as fans, would like for the Spurs to make that BLOCKBUSTER roster move to improve their chances at a championship, I’m resigned to the fact that they will, for the most part, will stick their guns & make little improvements due to the complexity of their playbook & the willingness to keep the chemistry in tact. BUT…. yea, with that FO, who knows what they MIGHT do. Full warpspeed ahead & let’s get that championship! GO SPURS GO!!!

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  • Nima K.

    IMHO, they should keep RJ. He isnt the problem. Our lack of PF/C is. Use McD ‘s $2.5mil plus the $3mi mid level to get the job done.

  • Miggy

    Anybody seen anything about Tiago being in camp?

  • Dr. McCoy

    Yo Miggy, T-Spitt is IN THERE!!! Sounds like he’s ready to roll, too. Time will tell, but GO SPURS GO!!!