The amnesty clause is the new-fangled exciting/controversial thing in the league that doesn’t suit up for the New Orleans Hornets or Orlando Magic, and isn’t speculation of trade rumors.
The details of the clause aren’t one hundred percent clear yet, but from where I sit this seems to be what it is.
A team gets a ‘get out of jail free’ or ‘undo button’ on a bad contract. The player with the bad contract is waived, and while the team still has to pay him it doesn’t count against the cap. You read this and think people like Gilbert Arenas, Jerome James, Rashard Lewis. Players like that. Not necessarily busts, but players that you’d like to get out of their contract cap-wise.
After that other teams in the league line up with their wallets and bid on the player. Whoever puts in the biggest salary number wins the player and has to pay him that much. How that works I’m not sure, but this could create opportunities for contenders to get useful players for a lot less than the player would usually cost.
The only downside to this is that that the teams with the big checkbooks and lots of cap space might win out in this. But a lot of those teams don’t have room and are way over cap.
So, maybe it’s an opportunity for the little guys to get a guy who could revive them. Then again maybe it’s a reunion tour for some guys. Gilbert Arenas has already had the amnesty clause used on him by the Magic and could be a nice third guard for the Warriors if they deal Monta Ellis.