Is RJ fated to be a casualty of the amnesty clause?

Most observers are expecting that there will be some kind of “amnesty clause” as a result of the end of the lockout.

This, quite simply, will provide all teams with an out to get out from under one onerous contract. reports that” is expected this year, according to sources close to the negotiations. Early reports are that teams will receive cap relief and tax relief: 75 percent of a player’s contract value will not count against the salary cap when it is shed via amnesty.

that San Antonio Spurs majority owner Peter Holt has been at the forefront of a successful push to allow teams to have at least two years to decide whether or not to release one player via amnesty, as opposed to the 2005 version that gave clubs two weeks in August to use or lose the amnesty option forever.

Holt strategy is an interesting one. It would effectively allow the Spurs  the chance to keep their current roster together for one more season — which also is likely to be Tim Duncan’s final season.

It would give the Spurs an opportunity to get some sizable cap relief in one more season.

Chad Ford and Marc Stein of have crafted a list of potential casualties that includes one per team. They have Richard Jefferson listed as the most likely player to be cut, although the Spurs are considered lukewarm at immediately using the provision.

Which helps explainwhy the Spurs can avoid casting Jefferson aside in spite of the $9.3 million, $10.2 million and $11 million that he is scheduled to earn over the next three seasons.

It makes sense that the Spurs want to keep fielding the strongest team possible before Duncan decides to retire. But the Spurs’ aims could be forced if the new luxury-tax scale is extremely punitive. That would be  financially crippling for a franchise that has lost money in each of the last  two seasons (according to Holt) and would still be above $65 million in 2011-12 even without him.

It’s also interesting to scan some of the names that are listed as potential amnesty candidates.

Considering the current weaknesses of the Spurs, players like Cleveland guard Baron Davis, Milwaukee guard Beno Udrih, Miami guard Mike Miller, Orlando forward Hedo Turkoglu and Philadelphia forward/center Elton Brand would help the team.

What about it Spurs Nation? Would you like to see Jefferson leave the franchise? And which of the potential amnesty candidates do you think would most help the team?

Or, would you prefer to use the amnesty clause next season?

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