There’s a lot to be said about whether or not the Los Angeles Lakers should use their amnesty clause. To put it quite simply, now is not the time.
I’ll briefly clarify what the “amnesty clause” is: the team essentially cuts someone out of their roster. That person still gets paid the money they are contractually owed, but the salary doesn’t go towards the Lakers payroll, therefore saving them the money with the luxury taxes.
So, you want to use the clause on an expensive player who isn’t worth the money anymore. The Lakers don’t have anyone who fits that description right now.
Kobe Bryant should not be amnestied. Whether you think he’s getting old or shoots too many shots, the simple fact is, he’s Kobe, and he’s often the only reason the Lakers win (I’ll go over my “Kobe is the MVP every year” theory soon). He shoots a lot, but he scores a lot too. Beyond that, he’s the only guy who comes ready to play, with his killer instinct, every single night.
Metta World Peace has an expensive contract, but I’d argue he’s the only guy on the team besides Kobe who even wants to play basketball night after night. He’s streaky offensively, but defensively they have no one else like him. Coach Mike Brown is a good defensive coach, and he can help build up everyone else, but Metta gives them an already existant defensive edge.
Pau Gasol has one of the large contracts as well, however, he’s an excellent trading piece. I don’t think he’ll be a Laker next year, but who knows. He didn’t fit into Coach Brown’s system very well last year, but adjustments will probably be made. He’s too good, and valuable, to amnesty.
Steve Blake is on the Lakers’ payroll for the next two years at $5 million a year. This is a ridiculous contract. According to his averages, he makes about $10,000 per point he makes (i.e. $20,000 per basket). However, this contract isn’t quite big enough to be worth using the amnesty clause on him.
So, now is not the right time for the Lakers to exercise their amnesty option.
What do you think about the Lakers using their amnesty option? Should they? If so, on who?