Orlando Magic Waive Veteran Guard Larry Hughes; Sign Ish Smith

Hunter KonsensCorrespondent IIFebruary 1, 2012

photo credit goes to Keith Coward
photo credit goes to Keith Coward

The Orlando Magic have decided to cut veteran guard Larry Hughes following Wednesday night's win over the Washington Wizards. GM Otis Smith announced the transaction after the game, as the roster now stands at 14 players. 

This move is actually quite surprising, as Larry Hughes has been effective in the limited role he has received from coach Stan Van Gundy. In the nine games he has appeared, the veteran shooting guard has averaged 1.3 PPG in the 12.7 minutes he sees per night. 

The most suspicious part about Smith's decision is the fact that Jameer Nelson and Jason Richardson are still nursing their respective injuries. In fact, neither of them played in Wednesday's exhibition match. Plus, Hughes has been one of the main beneficiaries of the absences of the two aforementioned players. Hughes logged 14 minutes while contributing two points in the Magic's narrow win against the Wizards.

This move raises a peculiar question: Could Smith and the Orlando Magic be opening themselves up to a trade? Sure, Otis Smith did say last Monday that he was content with the roster he currently possesses, but the one thing Orlando can not afford to do is become complacent. The Magic need to either trade for another superstar or ship Howard away. Pulling a "Cleveland" and losing their superstar in free agency is unacceptable.

Whether or not Smith does indeed have a trade in the works, there is no denying that Orlando will host Cleveland on February 3rd at 7 p.m.

Update: According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the Orlando Magic have called up D-League point guard Ish Smith to fill their guard need.