New details on the amnesty clause, which allows a team to waive one player and remove them from their salary cap, have emerged, and they could affect the strategy of several teams in free agency. One key change is that the contracts will count towards the new 85-percent salary floor, according to Zach Lowe of Sports Illustrated.
That could potentially change the plans for several teams that have low payrolls. The Washington Wizards, in particular, are an interesting case study. The Wizards have Rashard Lewis on the hook for $22 million this season and $23 million in 2012 (though only $10 million is guaranteed), but have so far said they have no plans to use the amnesty clause on him. One reason was because the Wizards would be far below the salary floor if they did so. However, with the new provision, that is no longer the case, as Bullets Forever notes.
This could also affect teams like New Jersey (whih could use the clause on Travis Outlaw), Indiana, Denver (Al Harrington) and Sacramento (Francisco Garcia). All could open up more cap room without fear of dipping below the salary floor.
In addition, Lowe reports that teams cannot trade for a player, then use the amnesty clause on them. Finally, teams cannot use the new stretch provision, which extends the years on a player's cap hit while making each of those years less taxing, on players they claim through the clause.