The CBA’s amnesty provision has sparked plenty of speculation and perhaps unwarranted buzz for those hoping for more player movement around the league. Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said last week that “in all likelihood” the team would not waive any player on the roster.
The Wizards informed Rashard Lewis’s representatives last week that they have no intention of using the amnesty provision on the 13-year veteran forward who is owed $46 million over the next two seasons.
Those plans to keep Lewis remain intact, according to a league source, despite new details – uncovered by SI.com’s Zach Lowe – emerging on Tuesday that the salary of any player waived through the amnesty clause will continue to count toward the salary floor, though not the salary cap.
Cutting Lewis would’ve placed the Wizards well below the projected salary floor of $49 million and forced the team to use the savings to sign players from what is considered a weak free agent class. But the Wizards weren’t holding on to Lewis strictly for financial purposes. Lewis, 31, is healthier after recovering from tendinitis in his right knee for much of last season and still just two years removed from his all-star prime.
Coach Flip Saunders said he expects Lewis to continue to provide leadership for what should be one of the league’s youngest teams.
“That’s one thing he did do: He gave us more leadership last year than I thought even he could, even when he wasn’t playing,” Saunders said. “He did give us some good, veteran leadership.”
Lewis is the only player on the roster older than 26 and he has appeared in 64 playoff games. The other six players under contract have a combined eight postseason appearances – all from Andray Blatche.