If you believe the reporters camped out in New York City, the end of the lockout is near. Details and proposals have been leaking out, and one proposal as the San Antonio Spurs name attached directly to it.
ESPN's Marc Stein reports that Spurs' owner Peter Holt wanted more flexibility in the much talked about amnesty rule.
"Sources say that there’s a determined push led by San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt to allow teams to have at least two years to decide whether or not to amnesty one player, with multiple sources telling ESPN.com this week that they believe the concept -- with restrictions that are still being haggled over -- has indeed won sufficient support to be included in the new labor deal."
Stein goes on to say their is still discussion over what this will look like specifically. Some owners want to restrict the amnesty to only be used on players on the team's current roster when the lockout ends. Others want to be able to use it on any player they acquire in the next 3-5 seasons.
That last part seems unrealistic. I can't imagine the player's union being OK with a group of players' contracts just getting axed at any point in time over the next 5 years without any consequences. However, I can see them willing to wait a couple of seasons on amnesty for guys on their current teams. Remember, it's all about compromise at this point.
I don't know about the other owners in the room, but from Peter Holt's point of view this means that Richard Jefferson is going to be a Spur for this season. Here's why:
-Shortened training camp means teams have less time to adjust to a new player or new system. The more cohesive the unit, the better shape your team is going to be in coming out of the bat. Jefferson is more used to the Spurs' system at this point then any other forward on the current roster or anyone they could bring in.
-If the Spurs wait a year to cut Jefferson, that means they'll have his $10 million dollars, plus Tim Duncan's $22 million PLUS Antonio McDyess $3-$5 million coming off the books. They're currently somewhere around $17 million over the cap, meaning they'll probably have somewhere in the ball park of $15 million dollars in cap space if they wait a season to waive Jefferson.
-There's a decent chance Peter Holt really doesn't want to pay Jefferson the $30 million remaining on his contract to not play for the San Antonio Spurs. Despite his passivity in the second half of the season, Jefferson was better in the Spurs' system last year than he was the year before, so the few Jefferson optimists left would think he may make some improvements in year 3 (OK, there's only one Jefferson optimist left and that's me).
This anmesty clause is good thing for the Spurs no matter what. Whether they use it this fall or next summer, it's pretty clear Jefferson's days as a Spur are numbered, but something tells me he has at least 82 games left in a Spurs uniform.
Please remember, this is the Spurs not the Mavs. There is no way in hell that this ownership group uses the amnesty on a player they still owe $30mil...they simply don't have the deep pockets of a Mark Cuban or James Dolan.
I could see them using this provision on a player that has $10mil or so left, so extending the lifespan of this clause for a few years would allow them to do just that.
I also support Jefferson.. and I'm tired of hearing everyone diss him.Management did the best they could with the choices they had and... in result... Jefferson was a significant part to a team that almost had the best record in the NBA last year.. I don't care how much you hate the guy.. Unless you have a (Proven) replacement then no you don't get rid of your best SF... I have to admit I'm excited about Leonard but.. RJ was very reliable last year on the 3 pt line and def above avg on defence. Can Leonard do that? It's rare you find a rookie like S Jax that can knock down the 3.
If Amri Caspi came on then yes you get rid of RJ.. If Batum came on then yes you get rid of RJ but.. You don't get rid of RJ until you know Leonard is ready to contribute. I was unhappy with him during the playoffs last year like everyone else.
But... He's not the reason we lost. We had match-up problems up front. They posted up our small guards. They took away our 3 pt shot. If anything the SF position was well guarded and hardly a threat when RJ was in.
jefferson optimist right here as well..ive said on almost every posting om rj that he just needs to be more involved. at the start of the yeaer so many plays were being called for him resulting in him being the leading scorer for a while but later in the season we didnt see anymore of the slashing or alley oop plays only drive and kicks to him where he was a top 5 shooter in the league...jefferson is a lot better than people are making him out to be in my opinion and he will be a top contributor next season if there is one espn put dejuan blair over him as the fourth best player on spurs without george hill i hope noone agrees with that..i might have accepted mcdyess but they reckon he in like a top 300 player or something they must have mist the mavs series last year but anyway
I'm with you, i think Jefferson will redeem himself to a certain extent. Do you think the spurs could use the amnesty clause on Duncans contract and resign him for the minimum?
@charlie88 I don't think they'll be allowed to resign guys they amnesty, plus Duncan might take that as a slap in the face & go win a title in Miami for the minimum.