Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
The Orlando Magic and point guard Jameer Nelson have agreed to amend Nelson's contract to give him an extra two weeks to decide whether to exercise his option for the 2012/13 season, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports. Nelson's current contract, signed in 2007, called for him to decide on his 2012/13 option on or before June 15th, 2012. Under the terms of the contract amendment, which the NBA approved Thursday, Nelson now has until June 29th to accept or decline his player option.
Nelson has spent his entire NBA career with the Magic and, by all accounts including his own, wants to stay with the franchise. However, Orlando is in a state of flux, having parted ways with team architect Otis Smith and coach Stan Van Gundy. Further, superstar center Dwight Howard may be on the outs as well. Given all these variables, it's understandable that Nelson might want to see the situation settle a bit more before making a choice on his option. Orlando will have hired a new General Manager to replace Smith by June 29th.
If Nelson exercises his option, he'll remain with the team as a valuable expiring contract that it'd be able to trade easily, something he'd like to avoid. If he declines, he'll become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career. Orlando could re-sign him for a smaller dollar amount, giving him the long-term financial security he desires, but that decision is one for the team's new GM to make.