The question of the day in Thunderville shifts to Kendrick Perkins. Will the Thunder consider cutting Perk through the amnesty clause of the new collective bargaining agreement.
Jon Hamm is a reader and an Oklahoman who is a contributor t0 Larry Coon’s website that tries to decipher the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement. He often keeps me straight on economic issues regarding the NBA. Hamm on Wednesday night sent me an interesting analysis of the Perkins situation. It adds a lot of light.
Hamm has explained the amnesty clause before. Here’s a quick refresher. Each team can cut one player and, while still having to pay the player, not have it count against the salary cap and luxury tax. Any team under the salary cap can claim all or part of the contract. The team that places the largest bid wins, and the team that cut the player has to pay the remainder of the contract not paid by the team that claims him. If no team claims him under such a provision, he is a free agent and free to sign anywhere.
So here is Hamm:
“Quick terminology refresher for those that don’t obsess over these details like me: There’s a salary cap, a luxury tax line, and something the NBA calls an Apron. Teams under the salary cap can do pretty much whatever they want up to the amount of the cap. Teams can exceed the salary cap with salary cap exceptions. The tax kicks in at roughly $12-$13 million above the cap. The apron is an amount $4 million above the tax line that can potentially serve as a hard cap for teams for a year, if they use certain salary cap exceptions. Teams over the apron lose access to certain salary cap exceptions. That’s a quick glance at the cap rules, but hardly comprehensive.
“I’ve stated before that I didn’t think it likely that the Thunder will use the amnesty provision on Perkins. I’m sticking to that even in light of his play of late. I do think his role needs to change next season if he’s still in OKC. I even think it’s possible he could be traded. But I don’t think he’ll be amnestied. The simple reason is money.
“If OKC were to use the amnesty provision on Perkins they would still have to pay him over $18 million (due nearly $9 million next season and over $9 million the year after). Now, other teams have paid out that kind of cash and more in an amnesty transaction. Some used the amnesty to create salary cap room in order to sign other players. A couple of teams used the provision to rid themselves of a questionable character. Some used the provision to put some players out to pasture.
“But the Thunder would not create any room under the cap by waiving Perkins. And Perkins is far from a questionable character (he’s welcome at my dinner table anytime). And while overcompensated for his skill at this point, he’s nowhere near the stage of a Baron Davis or Darko Milicic. So that leaves the question of tax savings.
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