Richard Jefferson became the first casualty of the NBA's new amnesty clause that allows teams to release a player and have his salary removed from their cap. The Spurs have elected to release him and take the three years and $30 million they owe Jefferson off their cap number, according to a report by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
Jefferson was acquired by the Spurs from the Milwaukee Bucks in 2009. His first season was a disappointment, as he had his lowest scoring average since his rookie year and struggled to adjust to San Antonio's system. Last season was better -- he shot less, but was more efficient and finished fifth in the league in three-point shooting -- but he was not good in the playoffs against the Grizzlies. He had signed a new four-year contract after his first season.
The Spurs made the move in order to clear up enough cap space to use their mid-level exception, Wojnarowski reports. They have spoken to Caron Butler and Josh Howard, with Butler proclaiming that the Spurs were a "first-class organization" on his Twitter account. Wojnarowski reports that Butler is the Spurs' "top target."
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