Update: Important note from James Ham at Cowbell Kingdom, the clause for the amnesty in the leaked proposal reads as follows:
Amnestyvia Cowbell Kingdom.com - A Sacramento Kings Blog.
Each team permitted to waive 1 player prior to any season of the CBA (only for contracts in place at the inception of the CBA) and have 100% of the player’s salary removed from team salary for Cap and Tax purposes.
Salary of amnestied players included for purposes of calculating players’ agreed-upon share of BRI.
A modified waiver process will be utilized for players waived pursuant to the Amnesty rule, under which teams with Room under the Cap can submit competing offers to assume some but not all of the player’s remaining contract. If a player’s contract is claimed in this manner, the remaining portion of the player’s salary will continue to be paid by the team that waived him.
Because a player will not have the right to refuse a bid, the Lakers would not have the ability to bid on Davis or Lewis because they are over the cap. This could have dramatically bizarre impacts on the entire process.
The whole point of the "competitive balance" aspect of the lockout was to try and limit some of the patterns wherein teams like the Lakers would have inherent advantages in the free agency and trade market. Regardless of whether you believe those measures were legitimate or not, that's the alleged point and a big reason why half of the games missed are absent from the schedule. But one potential ramification of the new rules is that the Lakers could wind up improving their already stacked roster, which surprised everyone by not making the Finals last season.
The Lakers could be aiming to bring in Baron Davis or Rashard Lewis, according to a report from the LA Times:
The Lakers are curious to see if veteran point guard Baron Davis gets cut by Cleveland. He has two years and $28.7 million left on his contract, though he can be signed for substantially less than that. The Lakers also want a shooter and are monitoring whether forward Rashard Lewis (two years, $43.8 million remaining) gets waived by Washington.via Lakers basketball: Lakers have new coaches, many questions for 2010-11 season - latimes.com.
Because the Lakers are so far over the salary cap with a current payroll of about $90 million, their only real spending tool in free agency is the mid-level exception, which will shrink dramatically from last year's five-year, $29-million maximum for such a player.
The Lakers are widely expected to exercise the amnesty clause on Luke Walton, freeing up some salary space, though they'll still be in luxury tax category. With most of the tax restrictions not expected to take effect until 2013, the Lakers should be in position to use the MLE on either player. Davis is a much better fit for need considering the Laker's strength at both power forward with Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, and small forward with Metta World Peace, Odom, Matt Barnes, and occassionally Kobe Bryant able to play the spot. On the flip side, a replacement has been needed for Derek Fisher for quite some time, and Davis would be an ideal candidate with his range.
Davis also is heavily involved in Hollywood through his film production company. This kind of move would represent the exact kind of move the lockout was designed to stop. Instead, the Lakers, who have won two of the past three championships, could be geared to add a former All-Star who fits perfectly with their roster.
The more things change, the more things could potentially stay the same.