Amnesty Provision Plan for LA Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are in for a tumultuous summer. Not only are they going up against the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks to retain the services of Dwight Howard, but their payroll is also unbelievably high. Oh yeah, and they still need to make a decision on Mike D’Antoni’s future and hope Kobe Bryant’s rehab goes according to plan.

With so much at stake and very little wiggle room to sign free agents, the Lakers brass could choose to use their amnesty provision on someone. This would allow them to clear that player’s contract from their payroll, no longer counting against the salary cap or luxury tax.

Many have discussed the idea of using the clause on Pau Gasol, who was basically misused under D’Antoni, or Metta World Peace. Peace is clearly not worth the $7.7 million he is due to be paid this season, although it is the last year of the contract.

There have also been talks of the Lakers potentially using the amnesty clause on Kobe Bryant. While that might sound like a great idea for Lakers fans because it could help free up enough cap space to make a run at Chris Paul while re-signing Dwight, it’s inconceivable.

No franchise player deserves to be treated that way, especially Kobe Bryant, who has brought five championships to the franchise. Not to mention he had another age-defying season and has proven he is still one of the elite players in the NBA.

Let’s take a look at how amnestying Pau Gasol would impact the Lakers. Also, for both of these scenarios, we would expect Dwight Howard to re-sign with the Lakers; otherwise, it might not make much sense to use it on either player.

Amnestying Pau would save $19.28 million for certain. However, with Dwight re-signing, that would bump the Lakers’ payroll near $97 million for next season with only five guaranteed deals on the books, which includes Kobe’s con...

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