Orlando Magic: Sign SF Ryan Anderson.
With the Orlando Magic’s decision to trade Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova, and Domantas Sabonis’ draft rights for former Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka, it seems that Magic general manager Rob Hennigan is trying to put together a more experienced roster that can contend for a trip to the Eastern Conference Playoffs under new head coach Frank Vogel.
While getting Vogel was a great move for the Magic, Orlando still feels like a stretch to make the playoffs in 2017. Orlando currently boasts the longest active playoff drought of any team in the East after the Detroit Pistons qualified in 2016. Not since Dwight Howard was the Magic center has Orlando sniffed the postseason.
Besides trading for Ibaka, one of the things Orlando can do to improve its roster is to get a solid catch-and-shoot wing player in free agency, preferably at a forward position. Trading Channing Frye to the Cleveland Cavaliers was the biggest move of the 2016 NBA trade deadline, but Orlando still needs to properly replace Frye at the stretch four.
With Mario Hezonja probably getting a better allotment of minutes now that Oladipo is gone and Vogel is in charge, he’s too slender to play the stretch four. So what is Orlando to do? Reach back into the past and sign former Magic player Ryan Anderson of the New Orleans Pelicans?
Though Anderson can still help a team stretch the floor as a strong outside shooter and be a team’s third best player on a playoff caliber squad, he’s injury prone, not particularly great on the defensive end, and will probably want to play for his hometown team in the Sacramento Kings if he has his choice.
While Magic fans might rejoice at Anderson returning to Central Florida, the Magic will probably overpay for a player the organization once let walk in free agency to the then-New Orleans Hornets. Not being able to play as rigorous defense as Vogel will like out of his wing players could make this potential signing take a turn for the worse.
Next: Philadelphia 76ers.