There are only 34 players in the entire NBA who are still at risk to be released via the amnesty provision when NBA teams get that opportunity starting Wednesday through July 16.
The list has been pared down slightly in recent weeks because the Charlotte Bobcats have committed to releasing Tyrus Thomas via amnesty to create the needed salary-cap space to sign free-agent center Al Jefferson. And two more players who had been amnesty-eligible -- Toronto’s Andrea Bargnani and Boston’s Paul Pierce -- are about to be traded to New York and Brooklyn, respectively, when the league’s annual moratorium on player business is lifted.
That leaves 34 players, on 13 different rosters, who are eligible to be set free this month via the one-time clause that enables teams to release a player and remove his name from the books for salary-cap and luxury-tax purposes while continuing to pay him in real life. Seventeen of the league’s 30 teams no long have use of their amnesty clause if you include Charlotte as well as the New Orleans Pelicans, who no longer employ anyone on their roster who meets amnesty requirements, which state that the player had to be under contract with the team doing the slashing the entire time since the lockout ended.
What follows, then, is a list of those 13 teams that can still make an amnesty move and the 34 players who are still playing on contracts that were in effect before the 2011-12 season began and continuously with the team listed:
Atlanta: Al Horford
Many of those names above -- starting with that LeBron guy -- are in zero amnesty danger. If we’re going to be realistic, there are probably no more than eight players left from the 34 listed facing legitimate amnesty risk during the next week. They are: Villanueva, World Peace, Miller, Gooden, Salmons, Kleiza ... and maybe Perkins and Boozer if we stretch it.
P.S.: Just to jog your memory, here are the 16 teams that have already used (or committed to use) their amnesty provision … with the year the player was offloaded in parentheses:
Brooklyn: Travis Outlaw (2011)
Charlotte: Tyrus Thomas (2013)
Cleveland: Baron Davis (2011)
Dallas: Brendan Haywood (2012)
Denver: Chris Andersen (2012)
Golden State: Charlie Bell (2011)
Houston: Luis Scola (2012)
Indiana: James Posey (2011)
Los Angeles Clippers: Ryan Gomes (2012)
Minnesota: Darko Milicic (2012)
New York: Chauncey Billups (2011)
Orlando: Gilbert Arenas (2011)
Philadelphia: Elton Brand (2012)
Phoenix: Josh Childress (2012)
Portland: Brandon Roy (2011)
Washington: Andray Blatche (2012)
(Editor’s note: Every player on New Orleans’ roster at the time of the NBA’s new labor agreement in December 2011, one way or another, has since left the Pelicans.)