ESPN stat guru, John Hollinger has dubbed him "The Grenade Launcher." But to his team mates, Ryan Anderson is more affectionately known as "Baby Brinks" - as in the Brink's truck he is going to need to haul his well earned bounty this summer as he enters restricted free agency.
In the recent years, the Devos family has not flinched when it came time to pay and hold on to their restricted free agents. But this offseason's free agency period will be unlike the previous years for the Magic franchise and the rest of the league.
According to salary cap expert, Larry Coon, the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) penalized teams over the luxury tax threshold at a $1 to $1 ratio. The new CBA has drastically upped that penalty to the tune of $1 to $1.50 ratio which escalates even higher the further above the tax threshold a team goes. So for example, the Lakers tax penalty in 2011 was $19.9 million, but under the new rules their tax penalty would have been $44.68 million.
So what does this mean for the Orlando Magic and Ryan Anderson?
• The 2012 Luxury tax threshold will be approximately ($70.3 million). Currently the Magic are just under that tax level at (69.23 million). But on July 1st that will end, as annual raises and cap holds on free agents will swell the Magic payroll over the luxury tax threshold. Of more consequence though, will be the considerable paycheck that Ryan Anderson will get offered by several teams in efforts to pry him away from the Magic.
In my opinion, the Magic must resign Anderson regardless. His potential and current worth is too much to forfeit. Tom Habestroh (ESPN) writes in his article on the top 10 free agents this summer (Anderson is no. 3):
• But retaining Anderson does not come without consequence. This summer, without including non guaranteed contracts, cap holds and the draft pick's salary, the Magic salary will already be at $60 million. If, as I suspect, Ryan Anderson gets an offer sheet in the $8-10 million range, the Magic will have to go well into luxury tax territory.
2012 Fully Guaranteed: • Howard (19.54) • Turkoglu (11.82) • Nelson (8.60) • Duhon (3.25) • Q Richardson (2.63) = Total ( 45.85 )
2012 Partially Guaranteed (stretch eligible): • Davis (6.40) • J Richardson (5.80) • Clark (1.24) • Harper (0.76) = Total (14.2)
2012 Non Guaranteed Contracts: • JJ Redick (6.19) • V Wafer (1.15) • Orton (1.18) = Total (8.52)
2012 Restricted Free Agents: • R Anderson ( Cap Hold: 5.62) • D Liggins ( Cap Hold: 0.94) = Total (6.56)
The biggest casualty of this scenario, could very well be JJ Redick. The Magic front office will have a tough decision on wether or not to retain JJ Redick. Because of the tax penalty, his fully non-guaranteed contract will cost the Magic at the very least $12.4 million instead of $6.2. While Redick currently plays a key role, it is very doubtful that the Magic will be able to retain him past the 2012-2013 season regardless.