The Orlando Magic acquired the rights to Jameer Nelson on draft night in 2004.
Nelson, who starred with the St. Joseph’s Hawks, winning the Naismith Award as the country’s best player, was the 20th-overall pick of the Denver Nuggets. He spent the first 10 seasons of his career with the Magic, even making the All-Star team in 2009.
Nelson was set to enter the final year of his deal that would pay him $8 million for the 2014-2015 season. However, his contract was only partially guaranteed. The Magic chad the option waive Nelson and only pay him $2 million, which is exactly what they did. The Magic loved Nelson’s leadership and likely waived him so he could pick his next team rather than being part of a trade as a potentially valuable expiring contract. The Magic also wanted to clear the way for young guards Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton.
Nelson has drawn interest from the Brooklyn Nets, but they have since acquired Jarrett Jack. The New Orleans Pelicans have also show interest. Many figured the Detroit Pistons could sign Nelson. Stan Van Gundy, who coached Nelson at the height of his career, is now the president and head coach in Detroit, but they agreed to a deal with Chicago Bulls’ free agent D.J. Augustin.
According to Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders, several teams have showed initial interest in Nelson.
The veteran guard spent his whole career with the Orlando Magi before being released early in free agency. The New Orleans Pelicans reportedly reached out Nelson’s camp showing exploratory interest but there are reports that multiple suitors have reached out to the veteran to show initial interest.
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.