Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE
Earlier this month, you guys voted Andrea Bargnani as the least terrible contract you'd take back for the Elton Brand expiring. It's highly unlikely that any trade involving Brand would happen this offseason for a number of reasons, the most basic of which being the simple weight of Elton's contract. It's probably not worth taking back the horrible contracts the Sixers would have to eat in order to rid themselves of the contract that's just going to expire anyway.
So the other option, aside from a midseason trade or letting him walk at the end of the year, is the shiny new Amnesty Clause from the post-lockout Collective Bargaining Agreement.
For those of you unfamiliar, I'll give you a quick bullet point breakdown so you're up to speed.
- The Sixers can only amnesty players that THEY SIGNED before the new CBA. Only Brand, Iguodala, and players still on their rookie contracts meet those qualifications.
- Once you waive the player, their contract no longer counts towards the salary cap or luxury tax. Thus, it will create cap room immediately.
- The player, once amnestied, essentially becomes the prize of a silent auction. Whichever of the other 29 teams offers the highest bid will get him. If no one bids, the player becomes a free agent.
- The Sixers would still have to pay the remainder of the amnestied contract minus what the highest bidder is paying. Though again, that wouldn't count towards the salary cap.
I don't think the Sixers are going to amnesty Elton. Doug Collins refused to bench him during a really weak playoff run (until the last three games) because he "had too much respect for him". If we can accept the fact that, warts and all, Doug is the ultimate decision-maker in this franchise (which he is, especially with Rod Thorn leaving and Danny Ferry Ferrying), then is it possible that Doug would consider amnestying Brand?
In his mind, that has to be even more disrespectful than benching the guy for playing injured basketball. I don't see it happening.
And even so, do we want it to? Look at the free agent class. Aside from Roy Hibbert and Eric Gordon, who will most likely be returning to Indiana and New Orleans, there isn't anyone I'd want to spend the money an amnestied Elton would free up on. Yes, Kris Humphries is probably the better player right now, but so? Neither he nor any other free agent will be making them a contender or anything close, so what's the point of signing them?
Better to let Elton expire after next season and have a bigger pool of frontcourt free agents to pick from. It's probably what's going to happen anyway -- may as well find something to agree with them on!