The Orlando Magic took the next step toward reshaping their roster Friday when they announced they have waived underachieving point guard Gilbert Arenas using the amnesty clause. Doing so accomplishes two things for the Magic:
it rids them of an unproductive player prior to the start of training camp
it removes Arenas' salary from the books for salary-cap and luxury tax purposes.
To be clear, Orlando must still pay Arenas the more than $63 million he's owed over the next three seasons. The upshot is easing further financial burden by having the albatross contract prevent it from making moves in the future.
Since arriving in Orlando via a trade with the Washington Wizards last Dec. 18, Arenas averaged 8 points in 21.8 minutes per game, shooting a dismal 34.4 percent from the field. His shot selection and decision making became huge issues for the Magic, which needed steadier play at backup point guard than Arenas was able to provide.
Under the amnesty rules, teams under the salary cap may enter a blind bid for Arenas' services. The team with the winning bid earns the right to sign him. If no team makes a bid, Arenas becomes an unrestricted free agent and may sign with whichever team he chooses except for Orlando; as the team that waived him via amnesty, the Magic cannot re-sign Arenas for one calendar year.
Even after removing Arenas' salary from the books, the Magic are still over the salary cap, so they do not yet have the space to sign a free agent to a deal more lucrative than the three-year, $9.4 million mid-level exception.
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