Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson "wants to test free agency," reports Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD, and as such is likely to decline his player option for the 2012/13 season. "Nelson doesn’t want to be dealt as an expiring contract and end up in a bad situation," Kennedy says, which is why he'd be willing to forgo the final year, worth as much as $8.6 million, according to ShamSports, in order to secure his long-term future in the NBA.
Nelson has spent his entire eight-year professional career with Orlando, averaging 12.4 points and five assists per game. He has never been a free agent. The Magic would most likely attempt to re-sign him even if he does decline his player option, as woeful backup Chris Duhon is the only other point guard under contract.
In addition, says Kennedy, Orlando is expected to relieve coach Stan Van Gundy and Otis Smith, the team's President of Basketball Operations, of their duties "in the coming weeks." According to the HOOPSWORLD scribe, potential replacements for Smith include Jeff Bower, David Griffin, Larry Harris, David Morway, Kevin Pritchard, and Tony Ronzone. On the coaching front, Mike D'Antoni, Mike Malone, Nate McMillan, and Brian Shaw "have been mentioned" as potential hires after Van Gundy's dismissal.
Kennedy's story includes much more on where Orlando is headed as a franchise, and is well worth your time.
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