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.ORL