In our list of players likely to be traded this season, Jameer Nelson was right at the top. The Magic are rebuilding, Nelson is older (31) and only $2 million of his contract for next season is guaranteed, making it a virtual expiring deal.
The question was how much would the Magic ask?
The Magic, according to the latest rumbles, would surrender Nelson today if offered a future first-round pick for him. Orlando GM Rob Hennigan continues to chase draft picks and young assets above all else as he remakes the Magic.
The problem, of course, is that teams have never been more reluctant to surrender first-round picks — and the cap-friendly contracts they carry — than we see nowadays.
Nobody is giving up a 2014 first rounder for Nelson, we’re talking about a pick a couple years down the line — and as Stein notes, even then this may not be likely. An injury to a team that thinks it has a playoff chance could get them thinking about pulling the trigger.
Nelson still has value on the court — he is a solid pick-and-roll point guard who can score and create for others (at least when he’s being aggressive). He’s not a great defender, but for a team looking for a backup point guard to improve them for a playoff run, Nelson could be a good fit.
Just the price being asked right now may have to come down a little.