The Orlando Magic are in somewhat of a financial bind, but the new collective bargaining agreement could provide some relief.
As the NBA and the players’ union continue to negotiate terms of the new CBA, a couple of recent proposals could give the Magic salary relief and provide Dwight Howard with a significant incentive to stay in Orlando if the proposals are eventually agreed upon.
While these provisions would also help other teams, the Magic would welcome any assistance in rectifying their dire financial situation and acquiring some salary flexibility. […]
Marc Stein of ESPN.com said the league’s recent proposal “called for the ability for each team to shed one contract outright before next season through a one-time amnesty provision that wipes that contract off a team’s books — even though the player must still be paid — reminiscent of a similar provision in the summer of 2005.”
This, of course, is music to the ears of Magic fans desperate to get Gilbert Arenas’ behemoth contract off the books. Would Otis Smith ditch Arenas — someone he shares a close relationship with — to lessen the Magic’s future payroll? It’d take a small amount of pride swallowing, but it’d be difficult for Smith to keep Arenas around if the amnesty clause is in option.
Important to note: In 2005, a team was not allowed to re-sign a player it used the amnesty clause on. So if Smith chose to waive Arenas, he would be ending their professional relationship in Orlando.
If the Orlando Magic want any hope of salvaging their ability to reconstruct an elite team and championship contender around Dwight Howard before it’s too late, the proposed amnesty clause could be general manager Otis Smith’s get-out-of-jail-free card.
It’s no secret that Gilbert Arenas has one of the worst contacts in the NBA, if not the worst, and for the Magic to potentially have the ability to release him outright with no penalty against the luxury tax (he would still be paid by the franchise) like the 2005 rule would be a huge step in the right direction in fixing the roster. The question, of course, is what are the odds the amnesty clause sees the light of day in the new collective bargaining agreement?
According to Larry Coon, the preeminent CBA expert, the chances are high.
If Smith decides to waive Arenas, then only Hedo Turkoglu‘s contract would be left to be dealt with. And needless to say, Turkoglu’s contract — which has three years remaining in shelf life but is partially unguaranteed in its final year — is far easier to move in theory if its decided that change is needed at the small forward position.
It’s quite possible that, somehow, someway, Smith may be able to undo his mistakes and get rid of two albatross contracts in Arenas and Turkoglu this offseason. There’s no guarantee that happens but it’s certainly of occurring within the realm of reality. As such, Magic fans should keep an eye out on what happens with the new CBA.
It might save Orlando’s future.