HOUSTON — The Houston Rockets have waived forward Luis Scola.
The team used its amnesty clause on Scola, General Manager Daryl Morey confirmed Friday.
"Decisions like this are never easy, especially when it involves a player with the character and work ethic of Luis Scola," said Morey. "Luis is a special player whose winning qualities embodied what it means to be a Houston Rocket. His accomplishments in a Rockets uniform speak for themselves and we wish him all the best in the future."
The one-time provision allows Scola to leave without his remaining contract counting against the team’s salary cap or luxury tax
A fan favorite in Houston, the 6-foot-9 Scola averaged 14.5 points and 7.7 rebounds in five seasons with the Rockets. He’s due to make $21 million over the next three seasons.
"On behalf of the entire organization and Rockets fans around the world, I want to thank Luis for his contributions to our organization and the City of Houston," said Rockets Owner Leslie Alexander. "Luis is a tremendous player who has been the consummate professional both on and off the court. His dedication to winning and being a team player are unsurpassed."
The Rockets have torn apart their 2011-12 roster as they reportedly push Orlando to send them All-Star center Dwight Howard. Cutting Scola would allow Houston to absorb multiple undesirable contracts from Orlando in a potential deal.
Houston is also expected to sign Knicks guard Jeremy Lin and Bulls center Omer Asik to offer sheets.
Scola (6-9, 245, Argentina) averaged 14.5 points and 7.7 rebounds in 386 games (343 starts) with Houston. His 2,984 boards leave him ninth on the Rockets all-time list for most career rebounds. In 2011-12, Scola was honored as a member of the Rockets All-Decade Team of the 2000s. Selected by San Antonio in the second round (56th overall) of the 2002 NBA Draft, Houston traded guard Vassilis Spanoulis to acquire Scola’s draft rights from the Spurs on July 12, 2007. Scola went on to earn NBA All-Rookie First Team honors in 2007-08.