CLEVELAND - MARCH 29: Baron Davis #85 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates after his team scored against the Miami Heat during the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 29, 2011 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Baron Davis is a Cleveland Cavalier no longer. According to multiple reports out of the Cavaliers' training camp, the team decided to use the amnesty clause to release the 32 year old guard on Wednesday evening. This means that Davis' contract does not count against the Cavaliers' salary cap. He was previously under contract for the next two seasons and owed roughly $14 million for each of those years.
"We want to thank Baron for his professionalism. This move gives us additional flexibility this year and next year." -Chris Grant
If you have been following this blog since the lockout ended, you know that I would have preferred for them to hold on to Baron Davis. He provides veteran leadership and has been nothing but professional since joining the Cavs. Although his contract does not count against the salary cap, the Cavs are still obligated to pay him for the next two seasons. Davis had not yet practiced with the team in training camp as he was seeking a second opinion on a nagging back injury. The doctors diagnosed the pain as a bulging disk and it was reported that he would be out indefinitely. This development was undoubtedly something that factored into the Cavaliers' decision to waive him.
By waiving Davis the Cavaliers are now roughly $8 million under the salary cap and would have about $20 million in cap space next summer. This certainly gives the front office some more flexibility to pursue other trades and free agents.
In my opinion, this speaks volumes about what the management thinks of rookie, Kyrie Irving. He will likely get much more playing time than he would have if Baron Davis remained on the team. It also makes a Ramon Sessions trade rather unlikely as he is the only other point guard on the roster.
In his brief stint in Cleveland, Baron Davis quickly became one of my favorite players. He gave 100% each and every night. He was instrumental in beating Miami on March 29th and for that, I am forever grateful.