Orlando Magic trade Steve Francis to New York Knicks
The Orlando Magic have acquired forward Trevor Ariza and the expiring contract of guard Anfernee Hardaway from New York in exchange for guard Steve Francis, Assistant General Manager Otis Smith announced today.
In addition, the team has waived forward Bo Outlaw.
“As an organization, you always look for ways to improve your team, both presently and in the future,” said Smith. “The moves we have made today and last week (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.”
Ariza (6’8”, 200, 6/30/85) has played in 36 games this season with the Knicks, averaging 4.6 ppg., 3.8 rpg., 1.3 apg. and 1.19 stlpg. in 19.7 minpg. He has made 10 starts, averaging 5.6 ppg., 4.5 rpg., 2.1 apg. and 1.80 stlpg. in 24.9 minpg. Ariza has scored in double figures three times, including a season-high 13 points on Nov. 13 @ Sacramento. More active on the defensive end, he has recorded at least one steal in 22 games and two-or-more steals 14 times.
Originally selected by New York during the second round (43rd overall) of the 2002 NBA Draft, Ariza has played in 116 career NBA regular season games, all with the Knicks, averaging 5.5 ppg., 3.3 rpg. and 1.1 apg. in 18.0 minpg.
“The moves we have made during the last few days are geared to grow and improve our team,” said Magic Head Coach Brian Hill. “Trevor (Ariza) is a young, athletic small forward, who will fit in defensively with what we are trying to accomplish. I genuinely like Steve as a person and wish him nothing but the best.”
Hardaway (6’7”, 220, 7/18/71) has appeared in only four games this season for the Knicks, averaging 2.5 ppg., 2.5 rpg. and 2.0 apg. in 18.0 minpg. He has appeared in 688 career NBA regular season games with Orlando, Phoenix and New York, averaging 15.4 ppg., 5.1 apg., 4.5 rpg. and 1.61 stlpg. in 34.0 minpg. Hardaway spent his first six seasons with the Magic, appearing in 369 games and averaging 19.0 ppg., 6.3 apg., 4.7 rpg. and 1.95 stlpg. in 37.2 minpg. from 1993-99.
Francis has played in 46 games (45 starts) this season for Orlando, averaging 16.2 ppg., 5.7 apg., 4.8 rpg. and 1.11 stlpg. in 37.4 minpg. He has appeared in 498 career NBA regular season games with Houston and Orlando, averaging 19.4 ppg., 6.4 apg., 6.0 rpg. and 1.56 stlpg. in 39.3 minpg.
Outlaw has appeared in 14 games this season for the Magic, averaging 1.6 ppg. and 2.4 rpg. in 11.8 minpg.
New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Isiah Thomas: "This is a trade that we all feel makes us a better basketball team for both
now and in the future. In Steve, we add an all-star caliber player to our team without giving up core assets that are key to our future."
"Acquiring a player of Steve's level and talent is very exciting for this team," Knicks Head Coach Larry Brown said. "In him, we have added a veteran that
could help us in many areas, and assist with our young players' development."
InsideHoops.com Editor Says: The Orlando Magic want to totally rebuild around Dwight Howard, and trading Steve Francis away for Penny Hardaway's expiring contract and the cheap, young Trevor Ariza gives them salary cap space. They have a great opportunity to "truly" rebuild over the next few seasons. As for the Knicks, they refuse to rebuild and continue to add very expensive, talented but flawed players. On paper, they have a lot of talent. But on the court it isn't going to add up to a championship or anything close. They should be better, and more exciting, at least.
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