24Q: Will the Kings Use Their Amnesty Clause?

Today a rumor came out that the Kings would use their Amnesty Clause on Francisco Garcia if they signed Jamal Crawford, in order to make room. This didn't make sense on a few levels (neither does signing Jamal Crawford, but that's just me), and Jason Jones recently confirmed my suspicions by tweeting that the Kings had no plans to amnesty Garcia, and I for one, trust the Sacramento Kings beat writer over a reporter in Portland.

But will the Kings ever choose to use their amnesty clause? We know the amnesty clause can only be used on players and contracts in place as of July 1st, 2011 and can be used prior to any season through the length of the CBA. For the Kings, the only two guys that stand out as possible amnesty candidates are Francisco Garcia (3 years, $18.3 million) and John Salmons (4 years, $31.2 million). Both of those deals are essentially for one year less than that, since Garcia has a team option and Salmons' last year is only $1,000,000 guaranteed.

Of the two, Salmons is the better player, but seems to me to be the likelier amnesty candidate due to his larger contract and age. But remember, using the amnesty clause means you still have to pay the player, the contract just comes off the salary cap. I don't think the Maloofs would want to pay a player $8,000,000 + for a couple years for a player to not play for them (although they did with Kenny Thomas *Rimshot*), unless they really needed to clear room to sign a player of a much higher caliber.

So I don't see the Kings using the amnesty clause, not unless something comes along that is much better, or Salmons or Garcia suffer career-ending injuries or seriously regress. That's just my opinion. What's yours?

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