The Player: Ben Gordon
The Team: Orlando Magic
The Contract: 2 years, $9 million
How does it affect the cap situation?
According to Basketball Insiders, the Magic may still have up to $23.9 million to chase free agents, but it doesn’t seem like that’s in the cards. Instead they’ve cleared out a glut of veteran role players, waiving Jameer Nelson, Jason Maxiell and Ronnie Price to give their wealth of young guys, especially Victor Oladipo, Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton room to develop.
How does it affect the luxury tax?
The Magic are way under the cap. They don’t have to worry about the luxury tax for the foreseeable future unless they take on some huge salaries in one-sided trades in exchange for future assets.
Again, the Magic are in a full bore youth movement. They’re going to develop their key young players like Oladipo, Gordon, Payton and Vucevic. They’ll also probably be opportunistic with their massive amount of cap space. As mentioned, they can take on other teams’ unwanted contracts (Andrea Bargnani, I’m looking in your general direction) in exchange for young players or future draft considerations. You know, the Presti model.
While this is generally a really good way for a small-market franchise to build, the Magic have proven in the past to be a desirable free agent destination (Grant Hill, Tracy McGrady) owing no doubt to the city’s nice weather and Florida’s lack of income tax. Therefore the Magic would be wise to keep developing their talented youths while holding out hope that they can eventually land a big fish before their current players are due giant raises.