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NBA Amnesty Clause May Be Used Sparingly

The NBA amnesty clause, a result of the lockout deal reached Saturday, has a lot of fans excited. Under the rule, teams can cut one player whose salary cap hit will then be taken off the sheet. The player will still be paid by the team, but will become a free agent. (There is also a mechanism in place where other teams with cap space can claim players off of waivers before they reach free agency, assuming a portion of the old salary.)

But Howard Beck of the New York Times warns that the amnesty clause may not actually be used much this season.

"I don't think there will be very many at all," said one team executive, who asked to remain anonymous while the lockout remains in effect.

At most, three to six teams will take advantage of the amnesty clause this year, the executive said - a view that was echoed by others around the league.

Right now, Gilbert Arenas seems like the only sure bet to be waived under the clause. (Even then, Arenas is close to Orlando Magic GM Otis Smith, and Smith is a loose cannon. Wouldn't that be something, if Arenas Allan Houston'd the Gilbert Arenas rule by surviving it? Hedo Turkoglu is right there.)