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Today, the NBA’s amnesty window opens up for one week. The Los Angeles Lakers have yet to use their one-time amnesty clause, and they’re widely expected to use it to waive Metta World Peace.
If a team amnesties a player, they still have to pay their wages, yet their salary won’t count against the salary cap meaning the team can free up cap space and save on luxury tax if they’re a tax paying team.
Once a player is amnestied, teams under the cap may place a sealed bid on the waived player. The highest bidder will then end up with the player. If no team bids on an amnestied player, he will become a free agent and will be able to pick a destination of his choice.
As for World Peace, he isn’t the only amnesty candidate on the team: any player who was under contract with their current team before the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is eligible to be amnestied. Here’s who’s eligible on the Lakers:
Some people have called for the Lakers to amnesty Bryant and his $30 million contract since he’s recovering from an Achilles injury. However, most of those people aren’t Laker fans.
Mark Cuban famously suggested this past season that the Lakers should amnesty Kobe this summer. Bryant responded by dropping 38 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists on Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks, and then tweeted “Amnesty THAT” after the game was over. Classic.
Needless to say, Kobe won’t be amnestied. Not only because he’ll be back again playing this coming season, but the Lakers’ franchise would never hear the end of it if they cut Bryant from the team.
If Dwight Howard re-signed, there was a general feeling out there that Gasol would either be amnestied or traded. However, seeing as Dwight walked and the Lakers apparently want to stay competitive, Gasol is safe and won’t be cut from the team.
Pau will likely start again at the power forward position this coming season, with new Laker, Chris Kaman, at the center position.