The Jameer Nelson era is over in Orlando.
The Magic officially waived their long time point guard today, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Nelson’s deal for 2014-15 was only partially guaranteed meaning he receives $2 million of his $8 million salary. The Magic had until July 16 to make a decision. He does have the option to re-sign with the Magic if he chooses.
With the move, every player on the Magic roster is under the age of 26. The waiving of Nelson also means that the Magic have a big hole at point guard, and although Elfrid Payton is considered the future PG of the Magic, Rob Hennigan will have to address the position in free agency.
In Nelson however, Magic fans lose one of their most beloved, and loyal, players.
Nelson played 651 regular season games (second all-time) for the Magic averaging 12.6 points per game. He is also the franchise’s all time assist leader (3501), fourth in points scored (8,184) and fifth in steals (619).
“I appreciate the opportunity the Orlando Magic have afforded me and my family over the past 10 years,’’ Nelson said. “I’d like to thank the DeVos family, team management and all the coaches that have provided me guidance, mentoring and the ability to play the game that I love in the town that I love.
I’d also like to give sincere and special thanks to the great Magic fans … you have loyally supported me since my first day in Orlando, and have always been there for me and my family,’’ Nelson continued. “You made it easy for us to adopt Orlando as our second home, and we will miss you.
All good things must come to an end, however, and it’s time to move on. I look forward to continuing my career as an NBA player, and will never take for granted my time in Orlando.”
Written off because of his size, Nelson morphed himself into an extremely good NBA player and will be a hot commodity on the free agent market. He made the NBA All-Star team in 2008-09, the same year the Magic made the NBA Finals.
Despite all of the losing the Magic have endured the last two seasons, Nelson never once complained. He stayed humble and loyal while mentoring the youngsters on the team.
As a free agent, Nelson will likely be looking to join a playoff team and to add an NBA ring to his collection. Nelson leaves the Magic as arguably one of the top-10 players in franchise history.