The amnesty clause was revamped after the new Collective Bargaining Agreement was signed this past fall.
With the new amnesty clause, teams are now allowed to waive one player during the span of the new CBA without having to be liable for the salary cap hit. The team must still pay the player, but the bad contract will essentially come off the books in terms of the team's cap room.
In the past, only the luxury tax would come off the books.
Six teams have already used their amnesty clause, and they won't have the right to use it again until the new CBA expires in 2016.
That being said, there are plenty of teams with some contracts that they would love to get rid of in order to pursue other free agents this summer. Although not every team will use their amnesty clause this offseason, here are the most likely players that will get amnestied this summer.
Probability: 15 percent
The Atlanta Hawks have over $17 million coming off the books this summer, so it's highly unlikely they amnesty anyone.
The only likely player they may amnesty if they had to would be Marvin Williams. He'll be making over $8 million, and he's only putting up 10 points and five rebounds per game.
That being said, his contract expires next season, and it'll probably be wiser for the Hawks to save their amnesty.
Probability: Three percent
Considering the fact that the Boston Celtics will have $47 million coming off the books this summer, it's highly unlikely that they use their amnesty clause.
But if they're going to completely revamp their team and go after two or even three max players, amnestying Paul Pierce seems like the only choice.
The chances of that happening are extremely low, so don't expect the Celtics to use their amnesty clause this summer.
The Brooklyn Nets have already used their amnesty on Travis Outlaw. They can no longer use it until the end of the current CBA.
Probability: 90 percent
Tyrus Thomas was absolutely atrocious this season.
He only averaged 5.6 points and 3.7 rebounds on the league's worst team. What's worse is that he made over $7 million for playing that poorly.
Thomas is under contract until 2015, and he'll be making north of $8 million during all of those seasons. The Bobcats are in a rebuilding stage, and there's no reason why they shouldn't get rid of Thomas as soon as possible.
Probability: 50 percent
The Chicago Bulls signed Carlos Boozer to a huge deal a few years ago so he can complement Derrick Rose, and they can steamroll past everyone in the Eastern Conference.
Not only did the Bulls look like cows when they played the Miami Heat in last year's Eastern Conference Finals, but they were tamed by the Philadelphia 76ers in this year's first round.
When Derrick Rose got hurt this year, Boozer was unable to elevate his game and lead the Bulls to victory.
For a guy that's making over $13 million, Boozer should not be scoring just 15 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Boozer has been a huge bust, and the Bulls should highly consider letting him go and searching for a new No. 2 because they're not going to win anything with Boozer as Robin.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have already used their amnesty on Baron Davis. They can no longer use it until the end of the current CBA.
Probability: 70 percent
Brendan Haywood is not Tyson Chandler.
The Dallas Mavericks found this out the hard way.
Haywood is under contract until 2015, and he has a team option for 2016. Throughout this period, he'll be making north of $8 million every year.
The Mavs can't afford to pay $8 million for mediocrity. Haywood only averaged 5.2 points and six rebounds.
The Mavs probably also have their eyes on Dwight Howard. Dumping Haywood would open the door for the Mavs to try to acquire or sign Howard to a long-term deal.
Probability: 65 percent
The Birdman doesn't make nearly enough to be worthy for the Denver Nuggets to exercise their amnesty clause on him. He only makes north of $4 million per year.
That being said, there are two reasons why the Nuggets might be enticed by the notion of amnestying Chris Anderson.
First of all, he hasn't been a valuable asset for the Nuggets. He only makes 5.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.
Secondly, he was involved in a disturbing child pornography allegation this spring, and perhaps that's the final straw. Although he's innocent until proven guilty, the fact that Andersen hasn't been producing on the court could be enough for the Nuggets to let him go.
Probability: 40 percent
Ben Gordon made $11.6 million last season, and he's under contract this season with a player option for next year.
There's a chance that because of his less than mediocre number, he'll exercise that option because there's no way he'll be earning over $10 million in his next contract.
Gordon averaged just 12.5 points and a dismal 2.4 assists per game.
With all of that said, there are two reasons why the Pistons will not let go of Gordon. First of all, they really don't have anybody else on that team. Secondly, his contract comes off the books in just one or two years, so the wait isn't that long.
The Golden State Warriors have already used their amnesty on Charlie Bell. They can no longer use it until the end of the current CBA.
Probability: Two percent
The Houston Rockets have numerous contracts coming off the books, so it's highly unlikely they'll amnesty anyone. If it's going to be anyone, it'll be Luis Scola. He's under contract until 2015, and he'll be making north of $11 million by the end of that contract.
That being said, he's not someone the Rockets will amnesty. He's too productive. If anything, they'll use him as a trading piece.
The Indiana Pacers have already used their amnesty on James Posey. They can no longer use it until the end of the current CBA.
Probability: 20 percent
Mo Williams will probably exercise his player option because there's no way any team is going to pay him over $8 million if he's going to make a new contract.
Even if he does do that, it'll probably be smart for the Clippers to use their amnesty clause on him and use those savings to get some help in the paint. They already have a plethora of guards. They don't need any more.
That being said, if Chauncey Billups leaves, the Clippers will need Williams as their backup. Plus, at most, they'll have to wait another year for his contract to come off the books.
Metta Probability: 80 percent
Kobe Probability: Zero percent
Metta World Peace is getting paid over $7 million right now. If he plays the way he did during the final stretch of the season, he's definitely worth the money. However, if he plays the way he did throughout most of his contract with the Lakers, then they might just amnesty him in order to save up room to go after a max contract player like Deron Williams or Dwight Howard.
However, Metta brings great defensive help, so that might be the only reason why the Lakers keep him.
With all of this being said, it'll be even smarter if the Lakers amnesty Kobe Bryant.
Now, before you bash me in the comments section, realize that Kobe Bryant is going to be making north of $30 million in 2013-14. He'll be 35 at the time. Although he'll produce at a high level even when he's 40, no player is worth that much money. His contract is handicapping the team's ability to surround him with decent help.
So why is it so bad if the Lakers amnesty Bryant, keep Gasol and Bynum, and go after both Dwight Howard and Deron Williams?
Let me tell you why.
Remember the LA Riots? Well, if the Lakers amnesty Kobe, then Laker Nation will start rioting on Figueroa Street. Kobe is the face and the identity of the Lakers, and unfortunately, most Laker fans don't want to live in the is, but they want to stay in the was.
Probability: 15 percent
The Memphis Grizzlies are a couple of pieces away from becoming a Western Conference powerhouse, and while Zach Randolph has played well in the postseason during the last two seasons, the Grizzlies might be wise to amnesty him and use that extra cap room to go after a true No. 1.
This collection of solid B-plus players isn't going to win a championship for the Grizzlies. They need an A-plus player. Randolph averages 12 points and eight rebounds. That's not going to cut it. He'll be making over $16 million for the next three years.
The Grizzlies can use that money for another top-level free agent either this summer or next.
Probability: 85 percent
He's the teams fourth-highest paid player, and he's only averaging six points per game. In other words, he has more tattoos than points.
That's a problem.
By amnestying Mike Miller, the Miami Heat will get rid of inconsistency on the bench, and they'll be able to target a top-level point guard like Steve Nash.
Probability: 95 percent
$7.8 million for a backup point guard that averages six points and four assists per game.
What a waste.
Beno Udrih doesn't even deserve half of that money. The only thing that might keep him in a Milwaukee Bucks uniform is the fact that he only has one more year left on his contract, and the Bucks could actually get something out of trading him to a team next year that wants to shed salary.
Probability: 30 percent
The only factor that will keep Darko Milicic wearing a Minnesota Timberwolves uniform is the fact that he only has a year left on his contract. He has a team option that the Wolves will most likely not exercise because he'll be making over $5 million.
Seems like an affordable price for a player, but he's only putting up 4.6 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.
Probability: 40 percent
The former No. 2 overall pick has not lived up to expectations throughout his career. Emeka Okafor will be making over $13 million over the next two years. That's a tad too much for a guy averaging 10 points and eight rebounds per game.
Okafor could get amnestied, but the New Orleans Hornets are already shedding tons of salary this year, so they're going to have room to work under the cap. Plus, they're not really after any max-level guys, so sticking with him and waiting for his monster contract to expire makes more sense.
The New York Knicks have already used their amnesty on Chauncey Billups. They can no longer use it until the end of the current CBA.
Probability: One percent
Don't expect the Oklahoma City Thunder to exercise their amnesty clause this summer, or anytime soon. All of their players that have big contracts are worth the money they get and the ones who don't have big contracts deserve more.
If it's going to be anyone, it'll be Nick Collison, but he's making way too little for the Thunder to use their amnesty on him.
The Orlando Magic have already used their amnesty on Gilbert Arenas. They can no longer use it until the end of the current CBA.
Probability: Eight percent
Elton Brand makes a staggering amount of money, and he doesn't show he's worth it because he's only averaging 11 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.
That being said, he's been an integral part of the Philadelphia Sixers improvement in the last few years. He's a leader in the locker room, and even though he'll be making $18 million next season, it's the last year on his contract.
For this reason, it might be a little foolish to let Brand go.
Probability: 99 percent
Josh Childress is locked up until at most 2016, and he only averaged three points and three rebounds per game this past season.
What's worse is that he'll be making over $7 million once his contract expires.
In other words, he must go if the Phoenix Suns want to rebuild.
The Portland Trail Blazers have already used their amnesty on Brandon Roy. They can no longer use it until the end of the current CBA.
Probability: Five percent
The Sacramento Kings don't exactly have an overpaid veteran that they would like to amnesty. They're also not anywhere near the cap.
Their core is locked up for years to come.
If it's going to be anyone that gets amnestied though it'll be Francisco Garcia. He's making over $6 million and not really producing on the court, averaging just under five points per game.
Probability: Less than one percent
The San Antonio Spurs have a lot of players that will be coming off the books this year, so don't expect them to use their amnesty.
Stephen Jackson might be the only guy they might use it on, but the chances are low. His contract expires after next season, so the Spurs might be willing to pay him the $10 million he doesn't deserve.
The Toronto Raptors are more than happy with Jose Calderon, Andrea Bargnani, Linas Kleiza, DeMar Derozan and Amir Johnson being locked up long term.
They also have some minor contracts coming off the books this year. Don't expect the Raptors to use their amnesty clause.
Nobody on the Utah Jazz is an overpaid veteran. They have guys like Al Jefferson, Devin Harris and Paul Millsap, who they're more than happy with.
Besides, all of those guys have trade value, so if they're going to make a move, it's going to be via trade.
Probability: 99.9 percent
It's a surprise why this hasn't already happened. Rashard Lewis is getting paid over $23 million. He only has a year left on his contract and has absolutely no trade value.