Right now, everything is on the table for the NBA, including one provision that could have a major positive impact on the Philadelphia 76ers.
The coronavirus outbreak has made everything uncertain in the NBA and for the Philadelphia 76ers. Being able to finish the rest of this season is one of the uncertainties facing the NBA, but another is the league’s financial future. However, Morten Jenson of Forbes suggests one way to ease the potential financial burdens caused by this disease is by introducing the amnesty clause.
This isn’t the first time that the amnesty clause and the NBA have been paired together, as Jenson wrote. Twice this past century has the league used the clause as a way for NBA teams to get salary cap relief.
In short, a team can use this provision on a player contract making it come off the salary cap and making them an unrestricted free agent. Of course, the players will still get the rest of their contracts paid out by the teams that used the provision on them, it just won’t count against that team’s salary cap moving forward.
Sounds like something like the Sixers could use this upcoming offseason. Jenson believed the 76ers could be one of the teams that might use it and explained why below.
“…Philadelphia, which is projected to have a cap hit of $147 million, which is roughly $15 million above this year’s tax line, a significant drop in the tax threshold could quickly inflate their tax payment even more and put them into the fourth tier of the penalty system.”
Remembering that Philly has Ben Simmons‘ max contract extension kicking in this offseason, while also having Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris on max contracts and Al Horford on a near max, amnesty may work in the Sixers favor. Jenson also pointed to Horford as a likely candidate based on the rough season and it’s hard to disagree with him in that regard.
Horford signed for four years and $109 million last offseason and it’s safe to say that he hasn’t lived up to it. Potentially taking his salary off the books would help the 76ers in a big way money wise. Obviously, trying to trade him should be the primary option, but amnestying his contract may end up being the more realistic option this offseason.
It’s clear that if the amnesty provision becomes available, the Philadelphia 76ers should try to take full advantage of it.