Jacari McRae | May 26th, 2020
Talks of resuming the NBA season are heating up. And the potential financial consequences are also being discussed. Before the season was suspended, the league was already expected to lose revenue due to issues with China. Now, with fans not allowed until 2021, this year’s salary cap is expected to be even lower.
Since the 2020 free agency was already considered weak, that doesn’t impact the Miami Heat as much. But the resurrection of the amnesty clause could make the class more interesting. ESPN’s Bobby Marks reported that some league executives want the amnesty clause restored. If restored, the amnesty provision would allow teams to clear bad contracts off their payroll. Teams are still responsible for paying the amnestied player but the move would increase the cap space.
Here’s a look at a few potential candidates who could get amnestied if the Amnesty clause is restored.
The first name that pops up is Blake Griffin. Griffin is owed over $60 million over the next two seasons. The six-time all-star has been hobbled by injuries in recent years. He appeared in 18 games this season before undergoing another knee surgery. Back in the 2018-19 season, Griffin was quietly having a good season. The forward averaged a career-high 24.5 points to go along with 7.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists. He also expanded his game beyond the arc, shooting over 36 percent from there.
The last time John Wall appeared in an NBA game was December 2018. At the time, he was one of the league’s most exciting players and an elite point guard. Since then, Wall has been on the sidelines rehabbing his Achilles injury. It’s uncertain if he can return to his All-Star form once he’s cleared to play. The 29-year-old is also in the first year of his supermax deal and is owed $131.5 million over the next seasons. The Washington Wizards would love to wipe that contract off the books. If they amnestied Wall, they’ll create cap flexibility to either build around Bradley Beal or rebuild.
Kevin Love is one of the most interesting potential candidates. On one hand, the Cleveland Cavaliers probably believe they can get value for Love in a trade. Love is still a solid player. When healthy, he’s one of the best stretch-five big man and one of the better rebounders in the league. Love hasn’t been shy about showing his frustrations with his team. He’s on the other side of 30 and wants to compete for championships. A change of scenery is probably best for both sides.
These three players have been linked to the Heat as trade targets in the past. However, it never made sense for Miami to pursue these players because of their huge contracts and injuries. Trading for those players would cripple their cap space for 2021. Signing one of the players on a cheaper deal is less risky.
As of right now, nothing is decided yet. The league is still trying to sort out details about resuming the NBA season. And while the amnesty clause has been discussed, it doesn’t guarantee the clause will return. But if it does, we could be in for a very interesting offseason.
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