One of the new components of the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement was a one-time “get out of jail free” card for teams. This “amnesty” provision meant that a team could waive one player and not have his salary count against its salary cap any longer. They still have to pay the guy; its just doesn’t matter for cap purposes.
Pose is a pro’s pro: a gamer with a few championship rings and a litany of big playoff performances. But he is on his last legs, has no on-court role with this franchise and makes about $7.6 million more than he is worth. He was a jump-shooting pylon last year. Of the 81 shots he made last year, he was assisted on 74 of them, good for 91.4% of his made field goals. What this illustrates is a stunning lack of ability to create offense for himself and simply a lack of movement. By contrast, Danny Granger — a scorer who is widely maligned for his inability to create his own shots — was only assisted on 51% of his made shots. (For reference, a true creator like Dwyane Wade has spent most of his career with fewer than 30% of his shots coming off of assists.)
Another glaring stat is the 15 free-throw attempts Posey took during his 839 minutes on the court in 2010-11. That’s one free throw attempt every 56 minutes on the court. For reference of how inactive you have to be on offense to have such a poor foul-generating rate, Jeff Foster took a free throw every 20 minutes last season.
Now, I’m not trying to kick the guy why he is down. I’ve always loved James Posey as both a player and a personality in this league. I’m just trying to show Pacers fans that there is no downside here. Posey was not going to get any minutes — certainly not any productive ones — and with a $7.6 million salary, he had no value in the trade market.
What this does do for the team, however, is give them nearly $8 million in cap room.
Perhaps the timing of this means that the Pacers may be about to acquire OJ Mayo from Memphis. The chatter from NBA reporters is that the Grizzlies are receptive to sending back Mayo in a sign-and-trade deal for Josh McRoberts, but Larry Bird wants them to also take Brandon Rush, presumably for salary reasons and because the Pacers roster is getting cluttered on the wing. And Memphis doesn’t really want either Rush or his contract. Or both.
Either way, the decision to amnesty Posey, says Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star, may mean Bird is softening on the Rush aspect of the deal and is making room to both take on Mayo’s $5.9 million deal and still have flexibility under the cap.
Or it could just mean they were planning to do this all along (Posey hasn’t been in training camp) and this was the day they signed the paperwork. Either way, it gives the Pacers another $8 million to do something if they so choose.
And as we keep finding out, flexibility is fun.
* This post has been updated to correct Posey’s salary. It previously was listed as $6.9 million