Orlando Magic waive Christian Eyenga and Armon Johnson

The Orlando Magic waived swingman Christian Eyenga and point guard Armon Johnson this morning, team officials said.

The moves, which were expected, reduced the team's roster to 18 players.

All NBA teams must have no more than 15 players on their rosters by 5 p.m. Monday.

The Magic originally acquired Eyenga on Aug. 10, as part of the 12-player trade that sent Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Eyenga arguably was Orlando’s most gifted athlete, but he had struggled to earn playing time with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Lakers during his first two NBA seasons and his game remains unrefined.

Eyenga, 23, didn’t play this preseason for the Magic because of a strained right hamstring.

“It’s unfortunate that he had an injury,” coach Jacque Vaughn said after practice ended this afternoon. “We were able to see some of him while he was not injured. It’s just a numbers game, and that’s a part of basketball. We’ll move forward, and unfortunately, we’ve got more cuts to make.”

Unless a team claims Eyenga off waivers, the Magic will have to pay Eyenga’s salary of almost $1.2 million for the upcoming season, and that money will count against the team’s cap figure.

Eyenga will become an unrestricted free agent if he isn't claimed off waivers within 48 hours.

Johnson, 23, was signed to a nonguaranteed contract in September to give the team depth at the point guard position because Ish Smith is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at jbrobbins@tribune.com and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.

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