The decision significantly improves Orlando’s bottom line for this season and beyond. The Magic drop from $2.3MM to $7.8MM below the luxury tax line and have a $10.7MM buffer below the hard cap, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets.
Mozgov, who entered the 2019/20 league year on an expiring $16.72MM contract, was waived by Orlando during the offseason. However, because the last year of his deal was fully guaranteed, it remains on the Magic’s books, having been stretched across three seasons at an annual rate of approximately $5.57MM.
Those charges are now erased for all three seasons, as Josh Robbins of The Athletic points out (Twitter link).
Mozgov, 33, was initially acquired by the Magic during the 2018 offseason in a salary-dump deal, but didn’t appear in a game for the team last season due to knee issues. He underwent an arthroscopic procedure in January.
If a player is diagnosed with an ailment believed to be career-ending, his team is eligible to apply for cap relief one year after he last appeared in a game. An independent physician or a Fitness to Play panel needed to rule it would be a medically unacceptable risk for Mozgov to return to action. The veteran center will still receive his remaining salary.