The Orlando Magic will waive longtime point guard Jameer Nelson, saving $6 million on their salary cap next season, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. The move ends the point guard's 10-year tenure with the club.
The 32-year-old Nelson was slated to make $8 million next season in the final year of his deal, but would only count for $2 million on Orlando's cap if waived before July 15. Orlando elected to let him go instead of keeping him or finding someone to accept him in a trade.
NBA Free Agency
NBA Free Agency
Nelson has been Orlando's starting point guard since midway through his second season. For a time, he was considered a borderline All-Star and was certainly always one of the faces of the franchise. But his game has declined significantly over the last couple years. He shot under 40 percent from the field both seasons and saw his usage rate -- the percent of possessions he ends with a shot, turnover or drawn foul -- drop to just over 20 percent this season. Orlando evidently decided that his leadership was not as important as his declining production.
Nevertheless, Nelson may still command attention as a backup point guard option on the market. His limitations mean he can no longer be a long-term starter, but he is still useful as a reserve. Waiving Nelson also allows him to double up his salary in the free-agent market.
Orlando now has nearly $27 million in salary cap space after waiving Nelson, trading shooting guard Arron Afflalo and releasing backup power forward Jason Maxiell. Its highest-paid player is second-year guard Victor Oladipo.
More to come.