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Magic Claim Copeland Off Waivers, Intend To Waive

6:19pm: Orlando saved itself approximately $315K by claiming Copeland as it allowed the team to reach the $63MM salary floor, Bobby Marks of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports explains (via Twitter).

5:30pm: The Magic intend to waive Copeland within the next 24 hours, Charania writes in a full-length story. The moves to claim and subsequently waive Copeland are being made to get Orlando above the minimum salary floor, Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel tweets.

4:17pm: The Magic have claimed combo forward Chris Copeland off of waivers, Shams Charania of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports reports (Twitter link). The addition of Copeland will give Orlando 15 players on its roster, which is the regular season maximum. No formal announcement has been made by the team, but the move had to have taken place prior to 4:00pm Central, which is when Copeland would have officially become a free agent.

Copeland was waived by the Bucks on Monday in order to clear a roster slot for the signing of Steve Novak. Orlando is utilizing a portion of the $8,193,029 trade exception that was created as part of the deal that shipped Channing Frye to the Cavaliers since Copeland earns more than the minimum salary. The Magic will now be responsible for the remainder of Copeland’s $1.1MM salary for 2015/16 and his entire cap hit.

The Bucks had signed Copeland this past offseason, but the veteran never made much of an impact with the team. The 31-year-old is averaging 2.1 points and 0.5 assists in 6.5 minutes per game this season.

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5 thoughts on “Magic Claim Copeland Off Waivers, Intend To Waive

  1. Then what was the point of claiming him?

    • Eddie Scarito

      Still researching….but it looks like the move was made to get team above the minimum salary floor.

    • Chuck Myron

      So here’s how it works: Orlando started out at $62,365,581 in team salary. The salary floor is $63MM. That means they would have had to cut checks totaling the difference between those figures, which is $634,419, to their existing players at the end of the season if they didn’t add any more salary. So, they claimed Copeland. He makes $1.15MM. That pushed the Magic’s team salary to $63,515,581, which is above the floor.

      But, you might ask, why not just remain beneath the salary floor? If they did so, they’d only have to pay $63MM, including the shortfall checks they’d cut to the players at the end of the season, instead of $63,515,581. Well, the Magic assumed responsibility for all of Copeland’s cap hit when they claimed him, but not all of the obligation to pay his salary. The Bucks have already given Copeland most of his paychecks this season, since we’re well past the midway point. So, the Magic are only responsible for paying a fraction of Copeland’s salary, (approximately $338K according to Bobby Marks), even though Copeland’s full $1.15MM salary counts toward the salary floor.

      In essence, the Magic are exploiting a loophole that allows them to pay less than the salary floor.

      • Bobby Sweet

        A loophole that needs to be closed, then. What a ridiculous cicumvention of the CBA. Regardless, excellent work, as usual, Chuck!

        • Chuck Myron

          Thanks, Bobby!

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