Milwaukee Bucks Pass On 'Amnesty Clause'

By Bobby Malecki

The Milwaukee Bucks are one of 15 NBA franchises that still have the amnesty clause option at their disposal over the next few summers.

You guys remember that lockout that robbed us diehards of NBA basketball in October, November and all the way up until Christmas Day in December last year right? Well, the amnesty clause was a part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) hammered out between the owners and the NBA players union during that very lockout.

In the interest of not turning this piece into a history lesson or arithmetic equation, I’ll keep my explanation of the amnesty clause simple for those still in the dark on this particular part of the CBA: The amnesty clause is essentially a way to rid your franchise of an eligible players salary counting against the salary cap, while still paying said player.

Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Before anyone gets too excited, a team can only use the amnesty clause ONCE during the current CBA and a team’s owner must be willing to pony up the cash to pay a player to well, not play.

To bring this full circle, Bucks nation may be wondering what this all has to do with our beloved Milwaukee Bucks?

As mentioned in the beginning of this piece, Milwaukee is one of the 15 NBA franchises yet to exercise their amnesty and won’t have the ability to do so until next summer after passing on using it this summer.

One also has to consider if Bucks owner Herb Kohl is willing to throw away money and be one of the owners to play a player to go away?

Now my question is: Why didn’t the Bucks exercise the amnesty clause on F Drew Gooden this summer?

I am willing to bet that the answer lies with Herb Kohl’s unwillingness to throw away eight figures for a player who had solid production last season. Yet, the fact remains that Gooden isn’t a part of Milwaukee’s big picture plans and he’s not necessarily a fit on Milwaukee’s present roster.

When it becomes apparent over the course of the 2012-’13 NBA season that Gooden isn’t meshing with the roster and if General Manager John Hammond is unable to unload Gooden via trade, it will be interesting to see whether Herbie ponies up the cash ($13.37m) next summer to rid the organization of it’s latest case of doling out bad paper.

The other Bucks player eligible to be ‘amnesty-ed’ next summer is F Larry Sanders at a cost of $3.05m. I don’t see the Bucks using their amnesty clause on Sanders using the basis of his cheap contract, youth and defensive abilities Yet, one could surmise that this is a big year for Larry to show the suit and tie’s in the Bucks front office that he can be a piece of the puzzle and that they shouldn’t even consider the notion of using the amnesty on him.

The amnesty clause talk is a mute point for now, as the deadline to exercise it for the upcoming year has passed. But come next summer, a story-line worth watching in Milwaukee will be weather owner Herb Kohl exercises the amnesty clause or decides against it for a second straight summer.

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