The Amnestees


Ah, amnesty, or as I call it, The Arenas Antidote. The saving grace of the lockout, and this free agency, adding some really nice names to the fray of Free Agents.

After the last article, I have decided not to use the Trade Machine. It’s overrating of Vince Carter and underrating of Arron Afflalo annoyed me, a lot. So sorry, Mr. Hollinger, I’ll do without you this time.

I know a lot of people don’t understand amnesty this well yet, so I’ll try to explain it in the simplest terms possible. Imagine someone trying to sell off a painting in an auction. The auctions rule are simple, the first “round” is the “Buy Now” option on eBay, being a high price that you get something instantly for without bidding with others, so basically in the case of the NBA it’s the contract. Let’s say Josh Childress is amnestied. Nobody’s going to pick up a 7 million contract for that guy, just as nobody is going to pick up a crappy painting for 500 thousand dollars. The second round is where the actual bidding comes in. In the painting analogy, only people with cash (cap space) can buy it, while the guys without it will have to wait until everyone passes. If nobody places a bid, the overdrawn credit card (over the salary cap) guys can get a private arrangement with the pictures owner (the player, not the team, of course). So without the colourful analogy:

1st round – Full contract to be picked up
2nd round contract bids for teams with cap space, previous team to pay off difference

Since the Suns are going to be under the cap once Vince Carter is calmly bought out of his contract, they can try and go for a few interesting figures in amnesty, most of them loaded quite on the opposite side to the Big Men-heavy free agency.

The first guy that comes to mind is obviously Brandon Roy. First of all, Roy can get the warlock-trainers to fix up his knees just enough to make him a bit more comfortable. With a lot of cap space, and a cap floor to reach, the Suns can give a bid of around 6 million for him, which is a very fair price for a guy that can go off on a tear and score 18 points in a 4th quarter, especially with some use of the magical healing powers of a Suns uniform.

Now Roy will be pursued by many teams in the waiver and we just have to remember about that fact. If the Suns can get him, awesome. If they can’t, oh well, there’s still that other guy with bad knees.

While Gilbert Arenas was a team cancer in Washington, I have no doubt that a solid example of team work in the rather toned down Phoenix team will get him calmed down. That, and the warlocks of course. If they resurrected Grant Hill’s career and saved Steve Nash’s back, they can do almost anything. Gilbert will never be Agent Zero again, but he might just be Key Field Operative no. 6 coming off the bench in Phoenix. I’d certainly like to see him playing either the one or the two.

And finally, we come to Kirk Hinrich. This is a rumour that I doubt to be true, since Hinrich only has a year left on his contract and the only way the Hawks would want to waste the amnesty clause was if a Josh Smith traded required additional cap space, or they wanted to make a surprise run for one of the top free agents.  That, and there’s also Marvin Williams to dump, y’know. Never the less, it has been discussed, so I will discuss it here, perhaps because I just friggin love Kirk Hinrich. Actually, I wouldn’t mind a trade with Atlanta to acquire him and use the amnesty clause in a bit of a different way:

Kirk Hinrich and Marvin Williams for Josh Childress and Mickael Pietrus and two second round picks.

Look, the deal is this; the Hawks can amnesty Childress, the Suns can amnesty Williams, while Hinrich and Pietrus are expiring contracts. The Hawks get the two 2nd rounders as a bonus, while shedding 10 million in cap space and getting into the amnesty bid race for the services of the likes of Brandon Roy. The Suns still stay under the cap, and have an option to keep Marvin Williams around for another year before amnesty. Another variation of this could be set up with Vince Carter’s expiring contract allowing the Hawks to shed 14 million in cap space.

Now, Hinrich is just a great option to have around for the Suns. He keeps the ball safe, he nails the occasional three ball and he plays stifling defence, all of which the Suns need from a combo guard off the bench.

There is however one, a bit more realistic opinion that might just slide to the cracks to get to the Suns and allow them to keep their style while playing off the bench. That guy is Jose Calderon. The Spaniard’s basically a poor man’s Steve Nash and I would just love to see him on the Suns, given that he’s one of the most underrated passers in the league. He averaged 9 assists per game in Toronto. Sure, he doesn’t have Nash’s scoring prowess, but he doesn’t really have to. While his defence is pretty suspect, just like Nash, he’s smart on that end, and he can turn it up a few notches in crunch time. While the Raps will only amnesty him if they feel they have a shot at a fitting Free Agent, I’m hoping that if they do, the Suns will be preparing a bid as soon as they learn about it. The only better option at guard for the Suns might be Brandon Roy.

There’s a few other amnestees the Suns have to look at depending on the outlook of Free Agency. Rashard Lewis can always be useful knocking down some threes (within a reasonable price range, depending on the “SIGN NENE OR DAVID WEST QUEST”) and Mike Miller might just become a victim of amnesty in Miami. And don’t even think about sleeping on Memo Okur, his ability to stretch the floor might make him a viable backup center over Robin “Foul-out” Lopez.

Do you have any future amnestees you want on the Suns? Tell us below!