Denton: Big Decision This Summer for Nelson

By John Denton
May 8, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS – Minutes after one of the finest playoff performances of his career and a game in which he made practically every correct decision, Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson admitted he now has another huge decision ahead of him.

Nelson, who has spent all eight of his NBA seasons with the Magic, can exercise an early termination clause in his contract in the coming days and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Nelson scored 27 points, drilled five 3-pointers and handed out five assists in Tuesday’s 105-87 Game 5 loss to Indiana Pacers. Nelson made $7.3 million this season and is scheduled to make $7.8 million next season. However, he could decide to opt out of his contract in hopes of landing a multi-year contract that will provide him with some long-term certainty. Nelson said his first option is to remain in Orlando, but only if it’s the best financial decision for the long term.

``I’d love to stay here in Orlando and I want to be in Orlando. I have to sit down with my agent and my family and decide what’s best for myself,’’ Nelson said. ``We just have to sit down and talk to the organization about what’s going on and make a decision.’’

Nelson could be looking for a deal similar to that of Rajon Rondo ($10 million), Jose Calderon ($9.7 million) or Russell Westbrook ($9 million). A more likely scenario would likely be something of at least three years worth the $6.5 million a season that Memphis point guard Mike Conley makes.

Nelson said that his agent, Steve Mountain, would discuss the point guard’s future with the Magic with President of Basketball Operations/GM Otis Smith in the coming days. Nelson must make his intentions known to the team in the coming days.

``That’s not my job; that’s my agent’s job. I’ll put the pressure on him to go talk to Otis,’’ Nelson said. ``Obviously we have to have that conversation because it’s a business. This is an organization that wants me here, I love playing in Orlando and I love playing with the guys around here. This is after a loss and my head is a thousand different places, but we’ll have to make a decision. I’ll take time off, not even think about basketball a little bit and sit down with my agent and figure it out.’’

John Denton writes for OrlandoMagic.com. John has covered the Magic since 1997 and recently authored ``All You Can Be’’ with Magic center Dwight Howard. E-mail John at jd41898@aol.com

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