There’s not a lot of drama in NBA training camps, who is toing to make the team because contracts are almost all guaranteed. The ones that are not are a couple guys at the very end of the bench, guys who could bounce down to the D-League for much of the season.
Which is why what the Magic did was such a surprise — they ate $5 million in salary to waive Quentin Richardson. From the Orlando Sentinel:
The Orlando Magic made three moves Saturday that enabled them to keep their most athletic player. By waiving wing Quentin Richardson, combo forward Justin Harper and wing Chris Johnson, the team created a space for undrafted rookie DeQuan Jones, an explosive wing who offers potential as a defender….
“All throughout the preseason, we evaluated everything, and we made the decision that, yeah, financially we’re going to have to make a decision that impacts us in that way. But we feel that the decision was [best] for the organization and the culture we want to start to set (said Magic general manager Rob Hennigan).”
It makes some sense — the Magic are in complete and total rebuilding mode and Richardson is not part of the future. Jones might be. They have the time to find out, to let Jones develop. The only cost was money, and if they are willing to spend it — $2.6 million this year and $2.8 million next year — this seems like a good long range-play.
The Magic would be worse for it this year, but that is really part of the long-range plan as well.
Richardson will be a free agent that can be picked up by any other team.