As the Celtics go into this offseason, the big topic of conversation has been cap space. For the first time in Danny Ainge's career as GM, the Celtics will be under the cap going into an offseason. With so few players under contract, many talked about this is a perfect opportunity for the Celtics to lure a max level unrestricted free agent. As expectations for that dampened, many talked about possibly luring away restricted free agents with front loaded contracts. Finally, others brought up the possibility of making lopsided trades in order to acquire overpaid but still valuable veterans.
But one aspect of cap space that could also prove quite valuable lies in the text of the newest CBA, Amnesty Auctions. For those who are unfamiliar, any player who gets his contract amnestied is first sent through an auction process among all teams under the salary cap. These teams can make a blind, one time offer to take over a portion of that player's contract and in return be awarded the player for a fraction of the cost. Last year, this process lead Chauncey Billups on the Clippers and Travis Outlaw on the Kings.
This is a tremendous opportunity to go bargain shopping for useful veterans as the Celtics will likely be in a unique situation. They will be one of the few teams that has the cap space to bid but would also be attempting to make the playoffs, therefore more inclined to pick up older veterans. So after all that, here are some potential useful players who could be amnestied this season:
Joe Johnson- The big name with the bigger contract, unlikely to be amnestied despite how healthy it would be for the Hawks. Would certainly have many suitors if he was cut. Though he is rubbish as a $20 million player, he could be an absolute steal at a bid of $7-8 million.
Carlos Boozer- Similar to Johnson, he is unlikely to be amnestied as he's more valuable as a player than as a sunk cost. But if Rose is more injured than expected and the Bulls decide they don't want to pay the luxury tax for a mediocre team, he could be a valuable low cost big who would help the teams rebounding.
Shawn Marion- Finally, a likely candidate. And even better, he is a likely buyout candidate for reasons beside his skill. It's been widely spoken how desperate Dallas is to make a max offer for Deron Williams, and the only way to free up the money to do so would be through saying goodbye to Marion. Still only 33 (crazy, I know), Marion is not the destructive two way force he once was. What he is is a very good defender who is willing to take the toughest matchup every night, an above average rebounder for his position, and a capable offensive player who can provide offense on the break and in opportunistic post ups. Just the kind of quirky player that could have his career extended a few years alongside Rondo. He could be a great back up to Pierce as well as a back up PF in a small ball lineup.
Ben Gordon- An old foe who's fallen out of relevance after being gifted a joke of a contract, Ben Gordon is the textbook definition of a gunner. But in the past, he has been a gunner who can tear out a team's very soul. Even as recently as this season, he was still hurting the Celtics. One could do worse for a bench scorer.
Elton Brand- Another old warrior whose been nothing but a professional throughout his career. Could be another valuable pick and pop big for the Celtics while again helping the troublesome rebounding. A much improved post defender, may not have the quickness to rotate as quickly as the team's scheme demand. But would otherwise be a very positive addition.
These are just the names that have been spoken about recently but I believe any of them could be a valuable role player, provided the bid price is not too steep. Other potential amnesty names, such as Andre Blatche and Josh Childress, may come across the auction floor but I hope I'm not alone in wanting them nowhere near the team. What do you think you think of some of these possible additions? What bid price would you be willing to put up? What are some other names I haven't thought of?