2011 NBA Free Agency: Allan Houston Rule - Southeast Division
One of the topics expected to be discussed during the pending NBA lockout is the possible revival of The Allan Houston Rule. When a new CBA was agreed upon in 2005, it allowed NBA teams a one-time opportunity to waive a player and not have his contract count against the luxury tax. The released player becomes a free agent but his salary still gets paid and counts against his former team's salary cap. Ironically enough, Allan Houston was not a victim of The Allan Houston Rule. The Knicks instead decided to waive Jerome Williams.
If the new CBA once again invokes this clause, most teams will probably take advantage since it would save them possibly tens of millions of dollars. To keep up with the times, we will change the name of this from "The Allan Houston Rule" to the "Rashard Arenas Rule" since Rashard Lewis and Gilbert Arenas easily have the two worst contracts in the league. Allow me to break down each team and who would end up being the casualties of this rule. I'll start with the Southeast Division.
Would the Hawks dare release Joe Johnson who just signed a max contract last offseason that nets him more than $107 million in the next five seasons? They would at least have to think about it, right? More than likely, Atlanta would target Marvin Williams who is owed more than $23 million for the next three seasons. That is a lot to pay someone who averaged about 10 points and five boards per game in the regular season, and really stunk it up in the playoffs.
"The Rashard Arenas Rule" would greatly benefit a team like the Bobcats that are struggling financially. Charlotte would probably consider releasing a few players. Newly acquired Corey Maggette is due $21-plus million for the next two seasons, but the 2005 rule stated that no player acquired after June 21 could be let go which would mean Maggette would be immune to this clause.
Therefore the Bobcats likely turn their attention to DeSagana Diop who is set to make $14.2 million in the next two seasons despite being limited to 16 games last season due to injury. In those 16 games, he averaged only 11.3 minutes, 1.3 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. Tyrus Thomas (four years, $33.4 million) and Matt Carroll (two years, $7.4 million) could also be possibilities.
With the Heat in "win now" mode, they really cannot afford to cut loose any of their players, and let's be honest; making money is not a concern for this franchise. The only possibilities would be Mike Miller (four years, $24 million), Joel Anthony (four years, almost $15 million), or Zydrunas Ilgauskas (one year, approximately $1.4 million).
I imagine the moment this rule passes, it would take the Magic less than one minute to file the appropriate paperwork to rid themselves of Gilbert Arenas who is still owed about a ridiculous $62.5 million over the next three seasons.
One minute after the league receives the paperwork for Arenas, they would get Rashard Lewis' release papers; finalizing the origin of the name for the new "Rashard Arenas Rule." Lewis is scheduled to make nearly $46 over the next two years.