CHICAGO BULLS: A good team with its provision intact and an obvious candidate in Carlos Boozer (2 years, $32 million). While Joakim Noah (3 years, $39.5 million) and Luol Deng (1 year, $14.3 million) also make eight figures, both were All-Stars this season and unlike Boozer do not underperform their contracts. Most likely scenario is Bulls using it next summer on Boozer, and bringing Nikola Mirotic over from Europe.
CHARLOTTE BOBCATS: Still have their provision and plan to use it on Tyrus Thomas (2 years, $18 million remaining), even though that would put a capper on one of the worst trades in NBA history. The Bobcats dealt Acie Law, Flip Murray and a first-round pick (unprotected in 2016) to Chicago for Thomas, whom they signed to a five-year, $40 million deal. He scored 125 points last season.
DETROIT PISTONS: GM Joe Dumars still has his amnesty card to fix one of his biggest mistakes in Charlie Villanueva (1 year, $8.6 million). But keep in mind that Dumars already has a ton of cap room this summer, and Villanueva’s expiring contract could become a nice chip at next year’s trading deadline.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS: Still have the provision at their disposal with no shortage of candidates aside from Kobe. One is Pau Gasol ($19.3 million), although his one remaining year makes him a better bet to be used as a trade chip. Another is Metta World Peace, who would have to opt into his final year at $7.7 million before the Lakers could turn him loose, which he has done.
MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES: Have not used the provision and probably never will, given that their only two eligible players are cornerstones Zach Randolph and Mike Conley. It is possible that they could use it on Randolph, who has a $16.5 million player option for 2014-15? Of course. But again, that will be the final year of his deal, and another team may find that expiring contract attractive.
MIAMI HEAT: Still have their provision and also have five players eligible for amnesty if you include LeBron James. The other four are Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Mike Miller and Joel Anthony. Miller has two years and $12.8 million remaining, while Anthony has two years and $7.6 million. Both have player options for 2014-15. And neither would get the Heat under the tax threshold if released.
MILWAUKEE BUCKS: Have not used the amnesty provision and have an ideal candidate in Drew Gooden (2 years, $13.3 million, who averaged a career-low 3.3 points in just 16 games last season. Releasing Gooden would give GM Jon Hammond much more flexibility in making the tough decisions this summer regarding free agents Monta Ellis, Brandon Jennings and J.J. Redick, who only comprise their entire backcourt rotation.
NEW ORLEANS PELICANS: GM Dell Demps has remade his roster so thoroughly that the Pelicans do not have anyone eligible for the amnesty provision. As a small market team, Demps went about things a different (and less costly) way, trading for Rashard Lewis and buying him out. Lewis’ $13.7 million comes off the cap July 1 and makes the Pelicans a potential player this summer. Not that any big-time free agent is going there, mind you.
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER: They might have been able to keep James Harden had they used amnesty last summer on Kendrick Perkins (2 years, $17.6 million). If GM Sam Presti pulls the trigger this summer, it could help keep Kevin Martin, maximize his exceptions or remain a “sustainable team.” The question really is whether Presti can go to owner Clay Bennett and admit Perkins’ deal was a mistake.
SACRAMENTO KINGS: We won’t have to wait very long to find out how much new owner Vivek Ranadive is willing to spend to make the Kings relevant again. They still have their provision and only one eligible player in John Salmons (1 year, $7.6 million), who shouldn’t be part of a rebuilding plan. Sacramento also overpaid for Travis Outlaw through the bidding process.
SAN ANTONIO SPURS: They still have use of their provision, which should surprise no one given how well GM R.C. Buford manages the roster. And their only eligible player is Tony Parker, who was only in the running for MVP this season. Someday all teams will be run like this.
TORONTO RAPTORS: As mentioned above, new GM Masai Ujiri has amnesty as one of his offseason building blocks. Unless he plans on using a wrecking ball and bulldozer to rebuild the Raptors, Ujiri is unlikely to use the provision on undervalued big man Amir Johnson (1 year, $6.5 million).
UTAH JAZZ: Still have amnesty at their disposal but also have a boatload of free agents this summer. The Jazz do have two candidates, but they are young big men Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, both of whom are still on their rookie contracts and considered the foundation of the franchise’s future along with Gordon Hayward and Trey Burke.
USED AMNESTY ALREADY
BROOKLYN NETS: Used on Travis Outlaw, who had three years and $21 million remaining. The $7 million removal last summer helped the Nets pursue Dwight Howard before ultimately making the deal for Joe Johnson. Outlaw was claimed via a bidding process by the Sacramento Kings, who paid him $9 million over three years, reducing Brooklyn’s obligation to $4 million for each of the next two years.
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: Used their provision on Baron Davis, who cleared waivers but then was signed by the New York Knicks and played 29 games before blowing out his knee and ending his career. Dumping Davis was less about creating cap room and more about a rebuilding plan, which is looking pretty good.
DALLAS MAVERICKS: Used on Brendan Haywood (2 years, $14.8 million), creating flexibility that will help the Mavs chase Dwight Howard and other free agents this summer. The Bobcats won the bid for Haywood for $6 million over three years, a move that was much appeciated by Mark Cuban’s wallet. Dallas also submitted the winning amnesty bid on Elton Brand.