On Sunday morning, the Magic's $17 million traded player exception expired and a large asset the team could have used was let go. The opportunity to use it just never came up.
Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld reports the Magic were trying to use it up until the deadline and tried to use it to entice a young asset or draft picks out of teams involved in the major deals this summer. The right opportunity did not come around and the team's finances appeared to work against making this decision.
When the NBA moratorium ended and the salary cap was set, along with the payroll floor, the Magic were dangerously close to that payroll floor. If it were not for Gilbert Arenas' amnestied salary (he is owed $22.3 million this year for the final year of his contract), the Magic would be below the payroll floor and would have to get up to that payroll floor.
The traded player exception would have helped there. As Kyler notes too, the amount of dead-weight salary also played a role into the decision not to use the traded player exception in the end:
The Magic also cut Quentin Richardson last year ($2.808 million this year) and Al Harrington this summer ($3.574 million this year and $3.804 million next year), leaving the Magic with more than $28.72 million payable to players no longer on the roster in addition to the $52.122 million owed to guys that will play this year.
Using the $17.816 million TPE would have only added to those numbers and there simply wasn’t anything worth doing that could justify spending more than the already committed $80.84 million.
Even though you have a tool, it is hard to remember that there are actual millions of dollars being spent. The Magic are paying $28.7 million to players not to play for the Magic this year (Arenas, Al Harrington, Quentin Richardson). That number could increase by $6 million if the Magic decide to part ways with Hedo Turkoglu.
Kyler reports that some believe the Magic might hold on to Turkoglu for the year and see if he can have any trade value at the deadline in February unless Turkoglu agrees to give the Magic some kind of discount in a buyout. We will get a look at whether Turkoglu can make any contributions as a player when he suits up for Turkey in Eurobasket at the end of the month.
The Magic are trying to control costs. That is still the goal at the moment. Adding on any more salary is not in the plans at the moment. Orlando has until January to decide on Turkoglu before his $12 million salary becomes fully guaranteed.
That might also be, and this is the last nugget for the day, Romero Osby might spend the season overseas. If Orlando does not invite him to training camp and Osby plays overseas, Orlando would retain his draft rights and be able to clear up the power forward situation to free up a roster spot for him next year.
The Magic are trying to control costs still and so any roster moves will have an eye on the finances for the moment. That is why the traded player exception was allowed to expire and why there are still some big decisions to make.