Saturday, August 20, 2005

Amnesty National...

So It's Amnesty Week in the NBA, and all teams in the association have this one time chance to rid themselves of one bad contract. Marc Stein of ESPN has written all about the rules of the Amnesty Clause, but the main point is that this cut will not affect the team's Salary Cap total, but instead will prevent teams from having to pay the dollar for dollar luxury tax. Most of the casualties of the Amnesty Clause were well known in advance, but there were some surprises and it certainly leaves us with some interesting things to talk about.

So, um... Even Though This is My Party, I Still Can't Attend?

Ever since it was brought up as a possibility, this Amnesty Clause was refered to as the "Alan Houston Rule." Houston is generally considered to have the worst contract in the NBA, paying him somewhere around $20 million per year. Which is a lot for someone who's always hurt, can't play defense, and isn't even a starter anymore. Yet somehow, after the Amnesty Cut day, Alan Houston was still a member of the Knicks. As ESPN's Bill Simmons wrote, "only Isiah Thomas could screw up the Allan Houston Rule and waive someone other than Allan Houston." Instead the Knicks cut Jerome Williams, someone who hustles, rebounds, and plays defense the way new coach Larry Brown likes. I don't think anything could make me happier than watching the Knicks AND Larry Brown go down in flames this year.

Junk Yard Dog Should Set Up Shop In Philly

It may take a little more than the Sixers have left, and with the loss of Willie Green for (at least) the first half of the season the backcourt is more of a need than the frontcourt, but I would really like to see the Sixers put the rest of their FA money together and make Williams an offer. This is the type of player that would solidify the frontcourt. As mentioned above, he hustles, plays defense, and rebounds incredibly well. Aside from that, he is not foul, nor injury prone. On a frontline with Chris Webber's one knee, Rodney Rogers gut and errant shot, and two incredibly foul prone shot blocking centers, Williams would be a dependant source of minutes and contributions. He won't fill up the stat sheet, but you always know when the Junk Yard Dog is on the court.

It's Official - No More Owls

The Sixers made one cut with the Amnesty Clause as well, the expected cut of Aaron McKie. This is espeically sad since McKie is a Philly native who played his high school and college ball in the city. For years he was considered a bit of a draft day bust, until he came home and resurrected his career with the Sixers by winning the 6th Man of the Year Award. Here at A Fantasy Life we wish Aaron the best. It was rumored that the Nets were seriously looking to add McKie to their roster.

On a similar note - It was reported in the Inquirer today (registration required) that former Temple star David Hawkins has been one of the best performers in the recent Sixer's mini-camp. Hawkins is said to have made a good impression on new coach Mo Cheeks. With the aforementioned lack of depth in the backcourt, perhaps it would be nice to see Hawkins make the team. Last year he was the final player cut from the Houston Rockets, let's hope this year he makes it past that stage with the Sixers.

So Was There Anyone Important on the List?

With all this talk, it may seem like there was no one from these Amnesty Cuts who would make an impact anywhere. And mostly, that assumption would be correct. For the most part the players who were cut were old and unproductive. But there were a few "names" that ended up getting cut that teams have gone after. The biggest name to be cut was the Dallas Mavericks' Michael Finley. Finley has numerous suitors going after him. While he is getting up there in years, Finley is still a productive player and will assuredly end up on a championship contender. The Rumor has him going to either Detroit, Miami, or Phoenix.

Other name players who were cut were Doug Christie (from Orlando, already signed to Dallas), Brian Grant (cut from the Lakers and already signed to the Suns), and Derek Anderson (cut from Portland).

None of the names aside from Finley will make a real impact in the league or fantasy next year. The full list of players cut can be found here.



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