Why The Magic Brought Back Jameer Nelson

ORLANDO, FL - MAY 02: Guard Jameer Nelson #14 of the Orlando Magic warms up against the Indiana Pacers in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Amway Center on May 2, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. The Pacers defeated the Magic 97-74. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

New Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan sees Jameer Nelson as "his type of player".

Last week, Jameer Nelson declined a player option worth just over $8 million.

When Nelson decided to opt out of the last year of his deal, many pundits thought the Magic and Nelson had split up for good.

That, however, wasn't the case.

Since he arrived on the scene a few weeks ago, general manager Rob Hennigan has continuously told reporters the team "wants Jameer Nelson back in a Magic uniform."

On Thursday the Orlando Magic and Nelson came to an agreement on a three-year deal worth $19.7 million.

In a market that has already seen many point guards scooped up, there are very few vacancies in starting lineups, so there is no question why Nelson would want to return to Orlando, the only place he's ever called home during his eight year career.

"Glad to say I've reached an agreement with the Magic... I'm blessed to have the best fans and a great organization supporting me!" Nelson said, via twitter.

However, there is some question as to why the Magic would bring Nelson back.

From the outside looking in, bringing Nelson back doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

With Dwight Howard's tenure with the Magic coming to a close, the team will need a massive overhaul. Nelson is 30 years old and hasn't been all that productive. In fact, since Nelson was named an All-Star during the 2008-09 season, a season in which he shot 50.3% from the field, he hasn't shot better than 44.9%. Last season, his field goal percentage sunk to 42.7%, the lowest percentage of his career.

Nelson's usage rate hasn't change much over the last four seasons, going from 23.2% during the 2008-09 season to 21.4% last season, yet his turnover rate ballooned from12.6% to 17.3% during that same span.

Why, then, would the Magic bring a seemingly declining 30-year old point guard back to a team that is in a terrible situation salary cap-wise and really has no idea what their identity will be come October?

First of all, Nelson's numbers aren't all bad.

In fact, Nelson was fantastic during the last third of the season, averaging 16.7 points per game on 45.6% shooting over the last 22 games.

Over the last few weeks, Hennigan has talked about the type of player he wants to bring to Orlando - players with high character and a great work ethic that can form excellent chemistry with their teammates, similar to the teams he helped build in San Antonio and Oklahoma City.

Nelson, who along with Howard, have been the co-captains of the Magic, has always taken on more of a leadership role than Howard on the court.

Despite a history of injuries, Nelson has the label of a "tough" and "fiery" player and was even reportedly involved in a scuffle with Howard this season.

He's clearly the most respected player in what became an increasingly dysfunctional locker room.

Simply put, when Nelson speaks, players listen.

With all of the off the court issues the Magic had last season, Hennigan believes the Magic need a high quality "locker room guy," who can help control and police the rest of the team.

For Hennigan, Nelson fits the bill as his type of player.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Tampa Bay

You must be a member of SB Nation Tampa Bay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Tampa Bay. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Tampa Bay

You must be a member of SB Nation Tampa Bay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Tampa Bay. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.