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Chris Copeland Waived by Magic 1 Day After Signing Contract

Milwaukee Bucks forward Chris Copeland (9) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press
Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIFebruary 24, 2016

The Orlando Magic claimed veteran forward Chris Copeland on Feb. 24, but his time in the Sunshine State is already over. 

According to The Vertical's Shams Charania, the Magic waived Copeland a day after signing him for the sole purpose of reaching the league's $63 million salary floor. Charania added that Copeland will now pursue a new deal. 

Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported Copeland cleared waivers on Saturday.

Because the Magic waived Copeland before March 1, he will be eligible for the playoffs, assuming he latches on with a new team, according to The Vertical's Bobby Marks

Copeland has made only 26 starts in 171 career games and began his time in the Association with the New York Knicks in 2012. He spent the next two seasons with the Indiana Pacers before appearing in 24 contests for the Milwaukee Bucks this season.

The 31-year-old can bring flexibility to his next employer's bench because he can play the 3 or the 4 and has range that extends to the three-point arc, where he's shot 36.5 percent for his career. That versatility also allows Copeland to guard multiple positions.

But at this late juncture of the season, Copeland will have a hard time carving out a significant role with his next suitor. If he flashes well during the time he has, though, he could either secure a future with the squad or garner interest from other teams moving forward.

It's been a bit of a struggle for Copeland since he burst onto the scene as an NBA rookie in the Big Apple, where he played 56 games for a Knicks team that went 54-28 and averaged 8.7 points in only 15.4 minutes per contest. He shot 47.9 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from deep in 2012-13.

Copeland never quite found his stride in Indiana and had a serious scare last season when he was stabbed outside a New York City nightclub. During his stint with the Bucks, he was buried behind a lot of young players.

Whether he gets a real shot to work into another rotation or not, there's reason to believe Copeland has untapped potential that could make him a nice bargain down the road.

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