Saturday, July 23, 2005

There's no amnesty for E. Snow

Over the last week I've a load of two sorts of e-mail: Blog loyalists thrilled with my little explanation of the salary cap and readers wanting to know why the Cavaliers haven't released Eric Snow yet under the new "amnesty" clause.

So let's continue with more NBA legalese to satisfy both parties.

Before I begin, let me put it to rest: The Cavs will not be releasing Eric Snow or any other player.

This has come up because many fans have read or heard about the provision in the new collective bargaining agreement that allows teams a one-time chance to waive a player and not pay the luxury tax on his salary.

That is a complicated statement that is being misunderstood, based on my readings, by many fans and media outlets. If a team uses this clause, they still must pay the player and the contract still counts against the salary cap for the length of the deal.

It only saves money for teams who are over the luxury tax threshold, which this upcoming season will be around $60 million. Teams that are over the tax line, pay a dollar-for-dollar tax. So the Knicks, who were about $40 million over the line last year, wrote a check for $40 million.

The Cavaliers are going to be no where near the tax line, so they won't waive Snow. It makes no sense whatsoever to do so, they don't save any money. In addition, they won't likely be near the tax for at least two seasons (when LeBron's new contract would kick in) so it doesn't make a lot of sense long range either.

Two names that immediately came up were Allan Houston of the Knicks and Michael Finely of the Mavericks. Both make sense because those teams are hopelessly over the cap for the next few years and by releasing them, both clubs will save tens of millions in tax money. Plus both have injury problems. I mean the Mavericks could save money by waiving Dirk Nowitzki, too, but he's in his prime.

I also think Brian Grant of the Lakers and Eddie Jones of the Heat are options, because those teams are over the tax line. For the Lakers, it could mean the difference from being in the tax or out of it. Jones is past his prime, but still valuable.

Jalen Rose of the Raptors has been mentioned by many a media outlet, but I don't think this makes sense because the Raptors are not in the tax. I've also heard the Theo Ratliff of the Trail Blazers. I personally don't think that's likely because the Blazers are headed below the tax in the next year or so.

A guy I'd throw out there, although I haven't heard this anywhere else, is Adonal Foyle of the Golden State Warriors. He's got a crazy deal for five more seasons and the Warriors will be into the tax in two years, I think, because Jason Richardson, Baron Davis, and Troy Murphy all have high-dollar deals that are only growing in value.

I've heard that teams will have until Oct. 1, basically the start of training camp, to decide on whether they want to waive a player. Obviously the players want the date moved up so the released players have options. That will all be finalized by next Thursday.

Back to the free agency watch. Will my torrid off-season (coach search, president search/destroy, GM search, free agent chase) come to an end soon? One can only hope.

Take care,

p.s. By the way, thanks to Ben from, who is a true salary-cap expert.