Originally written on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 11/17/14
Orlando_magic_7c1d

There's nothing quite like hitting the ground running, eh Rob Hennigan? 

Hennigan probably still has stuff shipping to Orlando from Oklahoma City, but Orlando's new GM is not wasting any time blowing up the Magic roster and starting over.  In the midst of pursuing a trade to finally jettison Dwight Howard, the Magic have agreed to send their second most valuable asset, Ryan Anderson, to New Orleans.

Unwilling to match a lucrative offer sheet from the New Orleans Hornets that Anderson was about to sign, the Magic have agreed to send the restricted free agent to the Hornets in a sign-and-trade deal for center Gustavo Ayon, league sources said. The deal is expected to be finalized on Wednesday, the day when the NBA's moratorium period on player transactions ends.

The Magic have been in desperate financial straits for a few seasons. Otis Smith spent years taking on big contracts in an effort to appease his mega-star center and build a winner.

Neither goal, ultimately, was realized.

Dwight is on his way out, and the Magic are still without an NBA title. So it is now up to Hennigan to set the charges, push the plunger and watch the old team come crumbling down in a mushroom cloud. 

Anderson played for just more than $2 million last season in the final year of his rookie contract, but everyone knew he was due for a raise. And in today's financial climate and security of stretch exceptions, teams seem more willing to toss a few extra bucks at restricted free agents like Anderson... chalking it up to "the cost of doing business."

Teams know that they may be overpaying a bit, but if that's what it takes to pull a player away from his current team, so be it.  If he is a flash in the pan, the stretch exception allows them to cut the guy later and spread out the cap hit.  

Anderson is not likely to be a flash in the pan, though.  He is a good stretch 4 who can create a ton of space for your team by merely being a threat from long range. The Hornets will have Eric Gordon, whether he likes it or not, and Austin Rivers to take advantage of that space. They can also put him on the floor with Anthony Davis and give the rookie more room to maneuver rather than worry about a lot of double-teaming.  

Anderson will also create space for the Magic, who are already knocking on the luxury tax's door as currently constituted. There is no reason to cross that threshold for this Magic squad, so not paying Anderson for the next four years is a sound financial move.  

In Gustavo Ayon, they get a big guy with raw talent. They also get a guy with an un-guaranteed contract that, if he doesn't fit into Orlando's plans, can be waived without penalty. If the Magic chose to guarantee that $1.5 million, they then have a team option for 2013/14 for the same amount and then a $1.8 million qualifying offer the year after that. So the Magic have three separate opportunities to dump Ayon's contract starting this summer.  

Hennigan is going to have to continue to find that level of flexibility as he moves forward.  He'll dump Howard at some point this summer and gain more assets to either play with or trade.  This is all part of the first step of rebuilding the Magic.

You've got to tear it all down first, and that's what this move starts to do.

[follow]

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Cowboys could still pursue Adrian Peterson

Manny Pacquiao: I'm ready to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.

John Calipari gets daughter's birthday wrong

Carson: Hall of Fame career not worth concussion problems

Tiger hires new swing coach

Is Sting making his WWE debut at Survivor Series?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Eric Decker: It's tough watching Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos

Semaje Perine breaks Melvin Gordon's rushing record

Report: Chip Kelly, Eagles GM not seeing eye-to-eye

Pete Carroll open to playing Richard Sherman at WR

Jay Gruden: RG3 has been 'coddled for so long'

Red Sox have best offer on table for Pablo Sandoval?

WATCH: Young reporter asks Helfrich funny question

Sager makes first appearance since leukemia diagnosis

Harvard kicker wears glasses

WATCH: Tennessee fans go a little overboard celebrating TD

Dwight Howard out indefinitely after having PRP on knee

Report: Mike Gundy pursuing Florida job

WATCH: Jameis Winston gets away with shoving an official

WATCH: Georgia's Chris Conley makes diving TD catch

WATCH: Nebraska blocks field goal, returns it for TD

Florida DL shows support for Will Muschamp with eye black

WATCH: Javale McGee kisses elderly fan sitting courtside

WATCH: Tim Tebow busts out a brief Steve Spurrier impression

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Cowboys to pursue Adrian Peterson?

Cal gets daughter's bday wrong

Carson: Career not worth concussions

Report: Gundy pursuing Florida job

Tiger hires new swing coach

WATCH: Jameis Winston shoves ref

Florida DL supports Will Muschamp with eye black

Jay Gruden: RG3 has been 'coddled'

LeBron: Love needs to 'demand' the ball

Bills-Jets game will be free admission

Pete Carroll: Lynch is 'our guy'

Which NFL team will get the #1 pick?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.