The Magic are making some improvement on solidifying their line-up for next season, agreeing in principle to a new deal with Jameer Nelson. NFL betting lines
Orlando’s 30-year-old point guard confirmed the news on his social account. The agreement comes a week after Nelson opted out of the final season and nearly $8 million of his deal to test free agency. He did not disclose the length of the new agreement.
Free agents officially can’t sign new deals till July 11 when the NBA’s moratorium ends. Teams aren’t allowed to comment on new contracts till then, either, but Magic GM Rob Hennigan expounded earlier this week that there had been a need to see Nelson return to the team.
“My hope is that he remains in Orlando and in a magic uniform,” Hennigan related of Nelson. “But there must be a mutual desire for that to take place.”
The query for Nelson was whether he was better off playing out next season under his expiring agreement and risk becoming a trade asset, or to hunt for a long-term deal somewhere else. The new contract indicates he found comfort in both the finances and length of the Magic’s new deal.
“I was prepared to go where I needed to go to resume my career, and I think I kind of voiced that to the franchise,” the 30-year-old Nelson said. “But I also told them that I would really love to come back.
Nelson has spent each of his 8 NBA seasons in Orlando, which drafted him along with Dwight Howard in 2004. Howard is signed thru next season, but lately informed the Magic he wanted a trade to Brooklyn and wouldn’t sign long-term anyplace else.
When Howard at 1st made his trade demand to the Magic last season, he referenced a desire to play with other point guards, including the Nets’ Deron Williams and L.A Clippers’ Chris Paul.
Conscious or not, it seemed to be a direct comment by Howard on Nelson’s capability to lead the Magic to a championship.
Though Nelson has dismissed the concept that any of that affected his play, former GM Otis Smith — who had talked with Nelson about it – said last season that he thought that it was on Nelson’s mind at times.
Nelson shot a career-low 42% from the field this season and averaged 11.9 points and 5.7 assists per game this season. The scoring and assists numbers were both down from the year before.
Together with Howard’s unresolved status, the Magic also have lingering calls to make on forward Ryan Anderson, as well as guard J.J. Redick.
Redick is due $6.1 million next year in the final season of his agreement, but the team can get out of that if they surrender him by July 7.
Anderson is the ruling league most improved player and a limited independent agent, though the Magic extended a qualifying offer to the 3rd-year forward. It permits the team to match any offer he receives on the markets this summer.