With a tentative agreement between the Association and players on a new NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement coming together early Saturday morning, focus has now shifted to teams preparing for the start of the regular season which will take place on Christmas Day. As franchises start to get their rosters together, speculation has begun about which clubs will take advantage of the new “NBA Amnesty Clause” which will take effect as soon as the new CBA is ratified. The clause will allow each team in the Association to waive any player on their roster that has a contract that was signed before July 1, without being penalized by the salary cap. Although the player would be paid in full, it would give teams flexibility with their payroll.
One player whose name has frequently come up as a candidate to be waived is veteran Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Baron Davis. Davis has a two-year deal that will pay him $27 million over the next two seasons and the team currently has three other point guards on the roster with number one draft pick Kyrie Irving, as well as veterans Daniel Gibson and Ramon Sessions.
“ESPN.com” reports that the veteran acknowledges he has heard the talk as well, but refuses to get caught up in the rumor mill. Davis told reporters “When the season starts, when training camp starts I’ll be a Cleveland Cavalier until they tell me otherwise. I know my name has come up with the amnesty thing, and a lot of people have said I’m going this place or I’m going that place. My whole thing is to be ready for the season to help any team that I’m on. I welcome any challenge. Having that opportunity to go to Cleveland and kind of like restart my career is something that I really cherish. But I know that it’s a business, and I know with my contract that it was going to be tough for the team to absorb my contract, so I’m sure I’ll be considered one of those players that is going to get amnestied.”
Davis was traded to Cleveland last February from the Los Angeles Clippers, in a deal that also got the Cavaliers the draft selection which turned out to be the number one pick in last June’s NBA Draft. Unless the Cavaliers have targeted a Free Agent that they want to acquire, it would make little sense for the club to waive Davis at this time. The team is in a re-building mode and Davis could be an excellent mentor for Irving as he enters the Association. A trade that could help fill some of the holes that Cleveland has in their front-court would be far more logical for the team as they attempt to come back from a very tough campaign last season.