ESPN.com writers Marc Stein and Chad Ford decided to riff off of reports that the new CBA deal will include an amnesty clause to release a player and/or contract not helping each team. The details aren't nailed down of course, but the assumption is that the deal will include a multi-year amnesty clause available for use on players signed to contracts by July 1, 2011.
Unlike the amnesty clause in 2005, the multi-year aspect adds some intrigue, making it even a worse deal for the Pacers. While amnesty may put more players in the free agent pool for the Pacers it will also add more teams to the bidding process, allowing a team like Washington to free up cap space to become free agent players.
Ford and Stein went through each team to identify which player (if any) is the most likely amnesty candidate for each team and how likely the team is to pull the amnesty trigger this year. They also include other amnesty candidate options on the roster.
James Posey has been the de facto amnesty candidate for the Pacers considering he will make $7.6 million this season after playing a minor role on the roster last year. But Ford and Stein went in another direction, tabbing Dahntay Jones as the most likely amnesty candidate for the Pacers.
Analysis: The Pacers' financial flexibility is as enviable as any team's in the league. Larry Bird and David Morway have gradually cleared away all of Indiana's bad contracts and head into the next free-agent period -- whenever it arrives -- with a ton of cap space. As a result, Indy doesn't have to amnesty anyone.
But the Pacers are weighing whether to cast aside Jones, who has two years left on his contract compared to Posey's expiring deal. The ability to wait, however, makes it more likely that Indy saves its amnesty clause for the summer of 2012, since the Pacers could well struggle to spend all the cap space they have going into this season.
The Pacers should have more than enough cap space for the current free agent crop so it seems like they'd be wise to save the amnesty clause and use it later. However, with so many players on rookie contracts, the only option down the road would be Danny Granger in a few years unless they don't use it by next summer. That leaves Posey and Jones, with Jones counting on the cap for two more years.
Letting Jones go may surprise some considering the energy boost he provided toward the end of the season when Frank Vogel added him to the playing rotation. Good, bad or indifferent, Jones has a big presence in the Pacers locker room. When things are going well that can be a positive presence and good impact on the team. But if the Pacers did in fact tag Jones for amnesty, it may indicate the team would prefer a role player with a little less influence on the mood of the team.
What do you think the Pacers should do with their one-time amnesty clause option?