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Magic expected to waive or trade Hedo Turkoglu by Jan. 7

Orlando Magic Hedo Turkoglu complains after he picked up second foul against New York Knicks in NBA basketball game in New York

Orlando Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu complains after he picked up a second foul against the New York Knicks in the first quarter of their NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden in New York, March 28, 2012. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

REUTERS

Hedo Turkoglu probably isn’t on anyone’s radar outside of Orlando, mainly because he hasn’t played a game for the Magic or been around the team in any capacity at all since the season began.

Turkoglu isn’t a part of the team’s future plans, so they essentially told him to get lost -- while being paid, of course, on a contract that is only partially guaranteed for the current season.

But a rebuilding franchise doesn’t want to commit salary unnecessarily, so rather than pay Turkoglu more than they need to not to play for them, the Magic will more than likely cut him loose one way or another before they’re on the hook for additional dollars.

From Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:

Rather than cut Turkoglu, who is in the final year of his contract, team officials have kept him on the roster because his contract is an asset that potentially could be used in a trade and net the Magic an asset in return.

Still, the Magic won’t keep Turkoglu beyond Jan. 7. ...

In other words, if the Magic have Turkoglu on their roster on Jan. 8 and waive him that day, he will not clear waivers before the time his contract becomes fully guaranteed. And, therefore, the Magic would be obligated to pay him $12 million instead of $6 million.

The question becomes whether or not the Magic can pull off a deal that includes Turkoglu’s expiring contract before then -- one that improves the team either immediately or in the future, but also fits with its rebuilding plans.