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This is going to be another year of trade rumors and speculation when it comes to the Magic. The young players will most likely fill the team's future and focus for the next few seasons. The Magic are going young to rebuild from the ground up.
They value the presence of veteran players like Jameer Nelson, Glen Davis and Arron Afflalo. But it is not far fetched to think they could not be had for the right price and that the Magic would not try to get the most value for them. It is widely assumed that Orlando will be active in the trade market once again.
Afflalo has already been involved in several trade rumors and Davis will likely follow him onto the rumor mill once he plays.
Nelson's contract might be the most attractive of all the contracts on Orlando's roster. He has one year remaining guaranteed for only $2 million next year. It makes him a veteran point guard on an expiring contract. The difficult decision may have to be made.
Both of Orlando's starting guards are possible trade candidates, but without any top young point guards on the market after Eric Bledsoe was traded to Phoenix, a deal involving Arron Afflalo seems unlikely. That leaves Nelson, the oldest member of a youthful Magic starting lineup at age 31. Nelson's 2014-15 salary is guaranteed for just $2 million, per Mark Deeks, so he's functionally an expiring contract for a team looking for a short-term upgrade at point guard for the stretch run.
Nelson is a very attractive guy. But he might end up being too valuable to the Magic from a culture standpoint to let him go. Nelson may not want a move either.
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Remember, Nelson signed a three-year deal with the Magic last summer knowing the team was about to go through a major rebuild.
He wanted to stay in Orlando and the team likely overpaid him because they valued his presence in the locker room with the team. Not to mention, Nelson will tie Nick Anderson's all-time mark of 10 consecutive seasons with the Magic if he makes it through this season.
It seems very unlikely the Magic would part with Nelson at this point.
At this point, being the key word.
Things can change as contenders emerge and the Magic begin looking at the reality of their situation.
However, even ESPN Insider's analysts admit Nelson would be very valuable as a "culture setter." If that is Nelson's main purpose in this league at this point, the Magic are more likely to keep him than not.