This morning, big news hit regarding the possibility of the Raptors signing Steve Nash. Chris Palmer of ESPN tweeted that fellow sportswriter Chris Broussard is reporting that the Raptors may amnesty Jose Calderon to go after Steve Nash on July 1, the period when free agency begins.
Calderon, the 30-year-old Spanish point guard, is owed $10.6 million next season.
So what exactly is an amnesty clause? According to USA Today: “The amnesty provision allows a team to waive a player and not have his salary count against the salary cap or luxury tax. The player will still receive his salary for the season.”
Thunder Rumblings blog calls it like this:
“Amnesty is defined as “a general pardon granted by a government, especially for political offenses.” The NBA definition could be something along the lines of “a delete button for organizations that feel they’re paying a player too darn much.” In the NBA version of Monopoly, this is the equivalent of a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card. It’s also an opportunity for a player to get out of a bad situation at full salary.”
Here’s an example of the amnesty clause via Peach Tree Hoops of SB Nation:
“So for example, Baron Davis was a rumored Miami Heat target if he was waived with the amnesty clause in Cleveland. Before Davis could sign with the Heat he would have to clear a waiver process by all of the teams under the salary cap. The Atlanta Hawks are over the cap so they would not be included in the waiver process. If Davis was claimed by a team under the cap then he would be headed their with his new team and the Cavaliers paying the bill.”
Now what’s intriguing about this whole scenario is how Steve Nash comes into the picture. Rotoworld reported this two days ago:
“The point guard and two-time league MVP will be one of the most coveted free agents available come July 1 and the Raptors will be among the franchises lined up with a major pitch for the Canadian superstar’s talents.”
Well, we all knew that already; that Captain Canada was going to be pushed hard by the Raptors, but it’s just reaffirmed.
According to Yahoo Sports, The Raptors are one of five teams that will court the two-time MVP’s duties over the off-season. Just less than 24 hours ago, Marc Spears reported that:
“Nash is expected to be courted by the Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors and Dallas Mavericks, league sources said.”
Would the Raptors want to bring Steve Nash back to his home land? Most likely not, as the Calgary Sun reports that GM Bryan Colangelo recently had the following to say:
“All of our post-season meetings with the players led us to a clear conclusion that there’s a few leaders in that locker room, and one of them is Jose Calderon. The players have a tremendous amount of respect for him. Though a sub-par defender, Calderon is a solid shooter and he’s one of the league’s best passers, routinely posting an elite assist-to-turnover ratio. “
The reason for this is, as stated, Calderon has been a long-time Raptor whose really evolved into a leader for this rebuilding franchise over the last few years. It doesn’t make much sense to waive him, in favour of a point guard who is eight years older and nearing extinction at age 38. Seeing Nash, the British Columbian kid finally play in Canada and try for his first ring is an imaginative idea. But does it make sense for a young team on the rebuild? Probably not.
Nonetheless, we’ll just have to wait and see on July 1. Whether the Raptors throw high money at Nash or decide to amnesty Calderon remains to be seen.