In their third offseason under general manager Rob Hennigan, the Orlando Magic have been very busy.
On Thursday afternoon, the Magic dealt their best player, swingman Arron Afflalo to the Denver Nuggets for swingman Evan Fournier and the 56th-overall selection in Thursday night’s NBA Draft, which wound up being former Iowa Hawkeyes’ guard Roy Devyn Marble. The Magic entered the draft with the fourth-overall and 12th-overall selections. They used the fourth-overall pick to take former Arizona Wildcats’ forward Aaron Gordon, passing on Australian point guard Dante Exum, to the surprise of many. They then selected Croatian forward Dario Saric, but traded the rights to him and a future first round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for the rights to the 10th-overall pick, former Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajun’s point guard Eflrid Payton.
The Magic then switched their focus to the current roster. They did not tender a qualifying offer to guard E’Twaun Moore, making him an unrestricted free agent and have let it be known he will not be back. They also waived veteran big man Jason Maxiell less than a year after singing him.
Their most important decision revolved around the future of point guard Jameer Nelson. Nelson has spent all 10 of his NBA seasons with the Magic and is due $8 million next season. The Magic, however, only partially guaranteed his salary, meaning if they waived him before July 15, they would only owe him $2 million. According to Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel, the Magic did just that on Monday.
Nelson is the Magic’s all-time leader in assists and was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team in 2009.
Nelson averaged 12.1 points, 7.0 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game while shooting 39.4% from the field, 34.8% from beyond the arc and 85.7% from the free throw line last season.