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NBA free agency 2017: Orlando Magic stretched C.J. Watson’s contract, according to report

The Magic spread Watson’s cap hit over multiple years.

NBA: Miami Heat at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

When the Orlando Magic cut ties with veteran point guard C.J. Watson recently, they used the stretch provision in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, reports Keith Smith. In so doing, Orlando saved a bit of extra salary-cap space for the 2017/18 season at the expense of having a portion of Watson’s salary on the books through the 2019/20 season.

Watson was only guaranteed $1 million for 2017/18, and Orlando could have simply waived him and had that amount on their cap sheet. Instead, by using the stretch provision, Watson’s cap hit will be spread out over two seasons.

While the additional $666,666 in savings for 2017/18 doesn’t seem like much money by NBA standards, every little bit of room helps. Orlando is still filling in the bottom of its roster—it looks like Arron Afflalo and Marreese Speights are due to sign any day now--and if having less than a million dollars in dead money on the books over a longer period is the cost of cap flexibility, it’s probably worth paying.