Thursday , Apr , 01 , 2010 C.Y. Ellis

Magic waves goodbye to Hardaway

Orlando, FL (Sports Network) – The Orlando Magic waived guard Anfernee
Hardaway on Friday, just two days after acquiring him in a blockbuster deal
with the New York Knicks.

Hardaway arrived in Central Florida along with second-year forward Trevor
Ariza in Wednesday’s deal which sent enigmatic point guard Steve Francis
to New York.

The trade was designed to give Orlando plenty of payroll flexibility
in the coming seasons in order to build the franchise around 20-year-old
power forward Dwight Howard.

“As an organization, you always look for ways to improve your team, both
presently and in the future,” said Magic assistant general manager Otis Smith
after the trade. “The moves we have made today and last week (acquiring
Darko Milicic and Carlos Arroyo from Detroit) continue to build a solid
foundation around our core players, such as Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson.
In addition, this particular deal has allowed us to gain significant salary
cap flexibility in the future.”

Obviously, jettisoning Hardaway was part of the salary cap flexibility Smith
spoke of.

Hardaway hasn’t played since a December 9 loss to Phoenix and averaged just
2.5 points in four games with the Knicks this season.

The veteran guard has averaged 15.4 points, 5.1 assists and 4.5 rebounds in 13
NBA seasons, the first six of which were spent in Orlando.