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Orlando Magic Officially Waive Gilbert Arenas – Magic Hibachi Era Has Ended

2011 December 9
by Brian Serra


The Orlando Magic announced this afternoon, roughly 40 minutes after they were allowed to, that they have released Gilbert Arenas.  Didn’t take long, did it?

I wrote a breakdown of the Amnesty Provision a few weeks ago and how it relates to the Magic. The following section is what I wrote about Gil at the time.

Why Gil?

Because Gil makes a LOT of money.  Gilbert’s salary for 2011-2012 is around $19.2M.  Assuming the team salary number for this upcoming season is similar to last year, Gil’s contract alone covers the luxury tax payment. Meaning that Gil’s true cost is actually DOUBLE his salary. Do you think Rich Devos enjoys paying $38M in one year for a player that he had to be talked into acquiring in the first place?

Financials aside, the team must ask themselves if Gilbert Arenas can be the player that they thought he was when he was traded for. He showed glances of it last year, but it was sporadic at best. Is that knee properly rehabbed? Did he work with Tim Grover in the offseason like he was supposed to? Can the Magic use Jameer Nelson as one of their few trade assets to return an impact player at another position? Are they comfortable with Chris Duhon as the primary backup PG?  Does Dwight Howard trust Gilbert? Does Dwight want Gilbert? Isn’t that what it all boils down to anyways?

Even if they amnesty Gil, it doesn’t create cap space to acquire a free agent because they are still over the cap. Everything would still have to be done through exceptions and sign and trades.  It comes down to 1) Are they willing to pay to find out if he can produce? and 2) Can he be relied upon if Jameer is traded?

Goodbye Gil

It turns out that the Magic were not willing to pay to find out what he still had left in the tank. In order to use the amnesty this season, they would have had to use it by December 16th. Without being willing to take the risk of having Gil around – and obviously paying for it – the Magic made the right decision to jettison him off.

Plank in peace, Gil.

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