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After the Indiana Pacers eliminated his Orlando Magic from the NBA playoffs on Tuesday night, Orlando co-captain and point guard Jameer Nelson said he has yet to decide if he'll exercise his player option for the 2012/13 season, reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.
If he uses the option, Nelson's salary--a reported $8.6 million, according to ShamSports--becomes locked in for the 2012/13 campaign, after which he'd become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career. If Nelson declines the option, he'll become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st, 2012. The St. Joe's product has until May 15th--one full week after Orlando's season ended--to make his decision, after which point he must notify the Magic.
As Orlando Pinstriped Post noted early Monday morning, Nelson could protect his future with Orlando by declining his option, becoming a free-agent, and signing a new, long-term deal with the Magic at a rate below his current $8.6 million figure. He'd also be eligible for a no-trade clause if he re-signs with Orlando, as he has eight years of NBA service and more than four with the Magic.
Nelson averaged 11.9 points and 5.9 assists for the Magic in the 2011/12 campaign, shooting 42.7 percent from the field and 37.7 percent on three-point baskets. A starter for six of his eight professional seasons, the 30-year-old native of Chester, PA has career averages of 12.4 points and five assists.