While players like Chauncey Billups, Baron Davis, James Posey and Brandon Roy were waived via the amnesty clause, the Denver Nuggets have reportedly balked on using their amnesty clause – at least for this season.
It makes sense since the Nuggets are barely over the salary cap ceiling and are far from hitting the luxury tax threshold. And passing on this year doesn’t mean they can’t use it in the next few years. The only catch is it has to be a player whose salary was signed before the CBA.
The two most likely candidates on the Nuggets roster are Al Harrington and Chris Andersen. Harrington, who was signed last year and will be 32 in February, has four years and around $28 million left on his contract. The final two years of the deal are only partly guaranteed so the Nuggets could waive him after the 2012-13 season and only owe him around $7 million instead of over $14 million.
Reports out of the Pepsi Center are that Harrington is in much better shape than he was last season and George Karl has stated that Harrington’s offense off the bench is important. But Harrington has to be willing to play fewer minutes than he is used to, which was a problem with him last season.
Andersen, who is a fan favorite, is owed more than $13.5 million over the next three years and is turning 34 after this season. He has been a consistent presence at the Pepsi Center since the lockout was lifted.
NUGGETS ADD RUFFIN
Former Cherry Creek High School star and nine-year veteran Michael Ruffin has signed with the Nuggets. Ruffin has a career average of 1.7 points and 4 rebounds. The only real highlight of his career was his costly mistake which led to Morris Peterson’s buzzer beater. It’s hard to imagine Ruffin making the final roster, but it isn’t out of the question that the 34-year-old will join the Nuggets coaching staff.