Magic reach deal with Duhon
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP)
They finally got their man Tuesday.
Duhon reached an agreement with the Magic for a $15 million, four-year deal, his agent said. Teams can't officially sign free agents until Thursday.
Agent Kevin Bradbury told The Associated Press that the chance to play for a championship contender was enough to sway Duhon to the Magic this time. Duhon fills a much-needed role behind starter Jameer Nelson and could step into the starting spot should an injury occur.
"The last time Chris was a free agent, the Magic obviously pursued him hard,'' Bradbury said. "Chris didn't forget that, and he has a lot of respect for that team. The Magic called right away.''
ESPN.com first reported the deal.
Duhon spent the last two years starting for the New York Knicks. He averaged 7.4 points and 5.6 assists per game last season.
Duhon's first four seasons came with the Chicago Bulls, who drafted him in 2004. The Magic tried to sign Duhon in 2008 before he went to New York.
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The former Duke standout could also reunite with J.J. Redick, a restricted free agent who Orlando is hoping to retain. The Magic, who will be over the luxury tax for the second straight season, have little wiggle room in free agency.
Nelson is the only point guard currently on the Magic's roster. Last year's reserves, Jason Williams and Anthony Johnson, are free agents.
That makes Duhon's signing all the more important in a thin year for free agent point guards.
Nelson also has had repeated injuries - a tear in his right shoulder sidelined him for most of the 2009 season, and torn cartilage in his left knee put him on the bench for about two months last year - that puts added pressure to have a reliable backup.
Duhon was willing to accept a reserve role to come to Orlando, which went to the NBA finals in 2009 and the Eastern Conference finals this year. He's friends with Nelson and Dwight Howard, among others, and his agent believes Duhon will make a smooth transition.
"It was a great experience in New York,'' Bradbury said, "but now Chris has a great chance on a great Orlando team.''
FOX Sports Florida has more on this story here.