It is finally the last day for waiving Amnesty contracts, so some things should shake out of the market in the coming days. First of all, any useful players that teams have been considering waiving are being shopped like used cars. Finley in particular is for sale to the highest non-West-contender bidder. I also think that this is holding up some trade talks as teams want to wait and see who hits the market and what players can be had for ten cents on the dollar.
Already waived are players like Dereck Anderson, Brian Grant, Aaron McKie, and Doug Christie. Others that should be cut include old friend Ron Mercer. It sounds like the Pacers might waive Reggie Miller's contract, but only if they are 100% sure he's retired.
In a shocking turn of events, the so called "Alan Houston Rule" may not be used on Alan Houston. I guess if he retires they can save even more money than by waiving him. That would allow the Knicks to use the rule on one of their other bloated contracts. Reportedly Jerome Williams (but really, it could be any one of 3 or 4 players).
Don't hold your breath if you are waiting on any current Celtics to be cut, for reasons that we've gone over already. I still think the best option is for the C's to waive Vin Baker's dead money. It won't save us any cap money, and won't matter this year since we are nowhere near the luxury threshold. However, if we decided to spend big next year, it would give us $5M more in grace money under the luxury threshold. Every little bit helps.
If the C's were thinking of trading Blount or Raef, you would likely see other teams hold off on such a deal until they were sure the C's were not going to release them under the amnesty rule.
This is kind of off the cuff, and I'm not sure how legal it is, but I suppose you could also see a team work out a complex trade where another team with an overpaid player releases that player in return for compensation (players, picks, money, etc.). However, making sure that the player wanted to go to the team making the deal would likely involve some sort of tampering, so again, don't hold your breath.
Finally, the waived players will have to find new homes, and since they will be double-dipping, they are expected to settle for smallish contracts (though through some complicated pro-rating rule, they won't get their money all at once, so they'll still want as much money as possible). Will the C's be able to pick up any players on the cheap? I think it could be possible, but probably only if the player is a point guard willing to take just over a million a year.
Regardless, we'll find out sometime in the next few hours who is out there. Then we'll see what that means to the market.
Useful Links: Amnesty Clause FAQ | Cut so far