The Orlando Magic start to rebuild
When All-Star and Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal left Disney World and bolted for the “Showtime” Los Angeles Lakers, it was a painful process for the Orlando Magic, as there are still times that Magic fans shiver when people mention it.
Fast-forward to the future, much hasn’t changed for the Magic’s fortunes, as they are once again in the same position except this time, All-Star center Dwight Howard will be leaving the team in a messy, stressful divorce.
So much for “Happy Endings” in the city of Disney World.
This also means that the Magic front office and new general manager Rob Hennigan will be forced to rebuild a franchise that will be decimated once Howard leaves.
So far, the Magic have fired their former coach Stan Van Gundy and former GM Otis Smith. They have also traded away Rashard Lewis and one of the biggest contracts in the NBA.
They are looking to trade away Jason Richardson, and have no idea on what to do with Hedo Turkoglu and J.J. Reddick in the future.
On the bright side, they did manage to sign Jameer Nelson to a new contract, but they are trading away one more player as they continue to revamp their roster.
Sources have confirmed that the Magic will do a sign-and-trade deal with the New Orleans Hornets, which would send forward Ryan Anderson to the Hornets, as the Magic will receive Gustavo Ayon, who just completed his first year in the NBA.
On paper, fans will be screaming and shaking their heads, and wondering what in world is the Magic front office doing.
Anderson, 24, won the 2012 Most Improved Player of the Year award with career highs in scoring 16.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, and shot 39.3 percent from the 3-point mark.
Not only is Anderson young and talented, but he is also an ideal player build around.
In return, the Magic will be receiving Ayon, who is a 27-year-old Mexican center that averaged 5.9 points and 4.9 rebounds for the Hornets last year.
This is not the type of player that fans would like in return, but the bottom line is this: the Magic have no money to spend.
With their money being tied up by two players, mainly Turkoglu and Richardson, the Magic would not be able to resign Anderson to the type of contract he would be looking for.
Instead of losing him for nothing when he became a free agent, which the Magic have a tendency in doing, this would be their best option.
They will also be able to clear some cap space, and Hennigan is clearly looking towards the future at this point.
The Hornets looks to be a competitive team. With the addition of Anderson, their starting lineup would also include prized talent Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon, Austin Rivers and a bench that is filled with high-energy players.
Anderson’s new deal will be a four-year contract worth $36 million, while Avon only has two years worth $3 million left on his contract.