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Final roster cuts shape ’12-13 Magic roster* – Jones makes the cut, Q out.

2012 October 27

No more air guitars for Orlando. Enjoy this final GIF.

The final 2012-2013 Orlando Magic roster is now set as the team has waived 3 players to reach the maximum roster limit of 15. Well, the roster is likely set until at least the February 21st trade deadline when it is sure to change again.

The team formally announced that they have placed Chris Johnson, Justin Harper and Quentin Richardson on waivers. With those three players removed from the roster, that means that training camp invitee and fan-favorite DeQuan Jones has officially made the team. For now at least.

Jones will likely receive a partially guaranteed contract for this season that would become fully guaranteed if he isn’t waived prior to January 10th. Jones, a University of Miami alumnus and former 5-star recruit, didn’t produce the stats expected of him in college but came into camp and showed that his athleticism can give him an edge over his competition. He averaged 10.4 ppg in the preseason and provided plenty of highlight dunks that ultimately put the pressure on Rob Hennigan to keep him on the squad. Once the team’s injuries disappear, Jones will be a strong candidate for D-League minutes.

Chris Johnson never had a chance to make the team, but was brought in for practice purposes.  That’s all you need to know about him.

Justin Harper, acquired in an Otis Smith draft night trade in 2011, wasn’t able to prove he could make the adjustment from college to the NBA game. Harper was a smart player and a hard worker, but he was a tweener that did lots of things OK, but nothing great. That’s not the recipe to stick in the NBA. He’ll likely head back overseas to play. Unfortunately for Orlando, the ’11 draft night acquisition cost the team two future 2nd round draft picks. Sunk cost decision for Hennigan.

The last roster spot came down to Josh McRoberts and Quentin Richardson. Both had guaranteed contracts and both provided veteran presence in a young locker room. Unfortunately for Q, the rise of DeQuan Jones, meant that he would become the odd man out. Q has been a model teammate (see below tweet) since coming to Orlando from Miami, but back injures have held him back. He played in 105 regular season games for the Magic.

Q is owed $5.4M over the next two seasons that the team will be responsible for paying (and will count towards the salary cap) unless a team claims him off waivers in the next 48 hours. The team will also be responsible for $762,195 of Justin Harper’s 2012 salary which also counts against this years salary cap.

The team also announced that the team’s new starting center, Nik Vucevic, will have his third year option picked up by the team. Or in other words, barring another trade, Vucevic will be on the Orlando Magic roster through at least 2014.

The regular season starts on November 2nd for the Magic as they face off against the Denver Nuggets.

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