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Magic waive Jameer Nelson, save $6 million

By James Herbert | NBA writer

Jameer Nelson leaves Orlando after 10 years of service.
Jameer Nelson leaves Orlando after 10 years of service. (USATSI)

More Offseason Analysis: Coaching changes, news | Free Agency | Draft

The Orlando Magic have waived point guard Jameer Nelson, the team announced on Monday. He was set to make $8 million in the final season of his contract, but only $2 million of it was guaranteed. Orlando decided that his steady hand and leadership were not worth the $6 million, and now he will be free to join a playoff team.

Nelson has been with the Magic for his entire 10-year career. He averaged 12.1 points and 7.0 assists last year, shooting 40 percent from the field and 35 percent from the three-point line. He's probably past the point of being a starter on a contender, but he would be a tremendous signing for a team looking for a trusty backup.

There will be bigger names on the market in free agency, but he's the sort of guy some coaches would see as a top target. It could even be seen as a slight surprise that Orlando didn't keep Nelson and have him mentor Elfrid Payton. The Magic had until July 15 to waive him, and apparently decided not to hold out and try to use him as a trade asset like the Toronto Raptors did with John Salmons.

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