ORLANDO, Fla. — A busy opening day of training camp for the Orlando Magic included a trade, dumping a big contract and a lot of uncertainty.
The Magic announced Friday that they are using a new Collective Bargaining Agreement amnesty provision to release guard Gilbert Arenas. And in a flurry of personnel activity, forward Brandon Bass’ agent said a deal is being finalized that will send his client to Boston for Celtics’ forward Glen Davis and the Magic also signed rookie forward Justin Harper and rookie guard DeAndre Liggins to contracts.
Bass’ agent Tony Dutt confirmed the impending trade of his client to the Celtics to The Associated Press, which swaps a pair of former LSU standouts.
Bass is entering his seventh NBA season and averaged a career-high 11.2 points and 5.2 rebounds last year in his second season with the Magic. He started 51 of the 76 games he appeared in.
Davis has played all four years of his career with Boston and averaged 11.7 points and 5.5 rebounds last season, starting 13 of 78 games.
The move could be the first by Orlando during free agency to beef up their roster around star center Dwight Howard.
Also, Magic chief executive officer Alex Martins said the Magic have not filed tampering charges with the NBA against any team for interference with Howard.
“Well there aren’t any tampering charges,” Martins said. “What I would say to that is that Dwight is under contract with us, and our rules in the league are very explicit about the fact when a player’s under contract with the team, other teams are not allowed to contact the player or player’s representative about them.
“And if that’s been voided in any way, we’ll deal with it to the fullest extent that the NBA constitution allows. But at this stage, there aren’t any tampering charges.”
NBA.com reported Friday that the Magic are pursing charges because at least one unnamed team spoke with Howard. It followed other reports that said Howard plans to request a trade to the Nets.
In a text message to The Associated Press on Friday, Howard’s father denied reports that he was now representing Howard, and the Magic said they are still dealing with agent Dan Fegan.
Howard, a three-time defensive player of the year, was on hand for the Magic’s first practice Friday. He is eligible to opt out of his current contract in July 2012. He has been silent on his intentions beyond this season in a handful of recent public appearances.
Arenas’ release has been anticipated ever since the new amnesty clause was proposed as being included in the CBA.
He has struggled in Orlando, and the Magic took advantage to the new provision, which allows a team a one-time option to waive a player’s remaining contract from the salary cap and luxury tax.
Since coming over from the Washington Wizards in a trade for Rashard Lewis last season, the 29-year-old Arenas hasn’t been able to make an impact in Orlando. Arenas has about $62 million remaining on the final three years of his six-year, $111 million deal.
Arenas averaged career lows in minutes (21.8), points (8.0) and assists (3.2) last season with the Magic, starting just two of the 49 games he appeared in. He also was at times bothered by sore left knee and left leg that limited his availability. He’s had three knee surgeries during his 10 seasons in the league.