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Amnesty Raef?

Back when the word of the NBA's new "Amnesty Rule" was originally announced, the rumored terms were that it would apply only to teams that were over the Luxury Tax threshold. To me, that meant just the Knicks, Mavs, and maybe a someone else I'm forgetting. Seemed like a rip off to offer up a rule that helps just the Knicks and other unwise spenders.

So imagine my shock when I pick up my ESPN the Magazine and see Raef's picture under a column talking about guys that will likely get cut under the new rule.

Near as I can tell, the details haven't been worked out yet, nevermind formerly announced. Guys like Mark Cuban are holding a no-comment stance when asked about Finley (who, along with Allen Houston are the first to surely get cut). Now if this deal is offered up to anyone (it is still a one-time-only deal), then that would include the Celtics. That could also put Raef's days in green in jeopardy.

But not so fast. Remember that waiving a player doesn't get a team off the hook for their salary. As far as I can understand the rules, the player would still count against your salary cap, just not the luxury tax. I could have that wrong, but bear with me. The C's are going to be over the cap one way or the other, there's little doubt about that. However, the luxury tax is a hard pill to swallow. Even if we cut Raef, we wouldn't be players in the free agency market.

Cutting Raef would allow us to throw more money at our own players and/or trade for higher salaried guys. The only free agent we are thinking about bringing back is Antoine Walker. I don't know if I can see Raef getting cut for Walker. It seems more likely that we'd keep Raef around as long as he's producing for us.

The next time we'll need the extra scratch is when Perk, Al, Gerald, and company start coming up for their new contracts. I don't see the need to use our one time "get out of jail free" card if we don't need to. You never know, you could trade Raef at the deadline to a team that either actually wants him or wants to use the one-time cut for themselves.

Anyway, this is a lot of words based on seeing something in a magazine that still doesn't make a lot of sense. However, when the new CBA is signed and delivered, I'll be keeping my ears open about the specifics of this "Amnesty Rule." It could have more of an effect on us than we thought.

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