When the Magic signed Ben Gordon to a two-year, $9 million deal last summer, it was mostly to be a veteran presence off the bench and to use as a possible trade chip, especially with the second year fully un-guaranteed. He hasn’t been a truly relevant NBA player since he left the Bulls in 2009. So it’s no surprise that Orlando has decided to save $4.5 million next year rather than keep him, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
The Orlando Magic are declining the $4.5 million team option for 2015-’16 on guard Ben Gordon’s contract, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Gordon will become an unrestricted free agent.
Passing on Gordon’s option will give the Magic $14.5 million in salary cap space for free agency. Gordon, 32, averaged 6.2 points a game for the Magic last season.
Gordon isn’t really an impact player anymore, but he shot a perfectly respectable 36.1 percent from three-point range last season, an improvement over his disastrous previous season in Charlotte, when things got so bad that the then-Bobcats purposely waited to cut him until after the deadline for eligibility to sign with a playoff team. He’s not going to be a difference-maker anywhere, but after a better year in Orlando, a team could do a lot worse than signing him as an end-of-the-bench guy.