Blog Entry

Spurs to waive Jefferson with amnesty clause

Posted on: December 7, 2011 1:55 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 1:59 pm
Posted by Ben Golliverrichard-jefferson

We have our first victim of the dreaded amnesty clause.

Yahoo Sports reports that the San Antonio Spurs will waive forward Richard Jefferson with their amnesty, a provision in the new collective bargaining agreement that allows a team to wipe one current contract from its salary cap number (and luxury tax payments, if applicable). The Spurs recently restructured Jefferson's contract, which is worth $30 million over three years (including a player option for 2013-2014), and are now able to wipe his $9.2 million salary from their books.

Jefferson, 31, never delivered up to expectations in San Antonio. Twice a 22 points per game scorer for the New Jersey Nets, his looks and production predictably took a big hit when he transitioned into an auxiliary role for the Spurs and it never seemed like a very good fit. He was able to improve where the Spurs needed him most -- upping his 3-point shooting from 31.6 percent in 2009-2010 to 44.0 percent in 2010-2011 -- but the Spurs traded guard George Hill for the rights to rookie Kawhi Leonard, a multi-talented forward, and are in the hunt for free agent forward Caron Butler according to  

The move allows the Spurs some cushion between their salary cap position and the luxury tax line, affording them the ability to spend a full Mid-Level Exception on someone like Butler without needing to shed any other contracts to avoid the tax.

Jefferson will certainly have suitors in the bid process set up for amnesty casualties, althoug he must now prepare to play for a significantly worse team, as only teams under the cap can bid for his services. There will be bids. Jefferson is on the decline but not yet washed up, and he's a proven commodity who can likely be had for less than half of his previous salary. 

Why use the clause now? The Spurs simply don't have any other bad contracts on their books. It was always going to be Jefferson if they used it. Using the clause now instead of after the 2011-2012 season provides the maximum benefit in terms of flexibility and potential recouped savings as Spurs owner Peter Holt will recover the bidded portion of Jefferson's contract. San Antonio won 61 games last season and is likely facing one final run for franchise big man Tim Duncan, who is in the final year of his contract. Jefferson was paid as San Antonio's fourth best player; the team has now made it clear that they would prefer to free up their books and spend a portion of his money more wisely elsewhere.

Since: Jan 8, 2010
Posted on: December 8, 2011 9:18 am

Spurs to waive Jefferson with amnesty clause

If I'm the NY KNicks, I scoop RJ today for the mid-level.  Landry Fields is a soft geek.

Since: Oct 16, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 2:55 am

Spurs to waive Jefferson with amnesty clause

Jefferson is a great guy. He was wrong for a highly structured offense like the Spurs he needs to be on a team that runs more. If the Bulls give up a lot and get Howard, he would be a great Midlevel exemption guy. Plays defense, could run with Rose (remember his time with J Kidd) and can hit from the outside to space and Howard give Rose lanes. 

Since: Mar 7, 2007
Posted on: December 7, 2011 5:21 pm

Spurs to waive Jefferson with amnesty clause

This finally happened.  RJ is a good guy, but he didn't mesh with the Spurs.

Since: Oct 13, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 5:16 pm

Spurs to waive Jefferson with amnesty clause

i really like Butler. He's still a decent scorer plus adds the physical presence we desperately need. He's also a smart veteran who I think can quickly learn the complex defensive system the Spurs instill. He might also teach some of these traits to the rookie.

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: December 7, 2011 3:44 pm

Spurs to waive Jefferson with amnesty clause

I wish RJ the best of luck.  He seemed like a good guy and teammate.

He just never fit into the Spurs system for their swing forwards.  His confidence was shattered, and the fans were a little rough on him,

Usually the Spurs are pretty strong in the front office.  They made a big mistake with Jefferson that they have quickly resolved.

Luckily, they stockpiled enough assets to acquire a big daft day trade for the small forward of the future in Leonard.

If thy can get Josh Howard or Caron Butler for the MLE, they will come out ahead financially AND at least break even production-wise until Leonard is up to speed.

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: December 7, 2011 3:25 pm

Spurs to waive Jefferson with amnesty clause

Good move SA. If you're going to make one more run with Manu and Tim you need to do better than a over the hill Rich Jefferson. 

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