(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
The Orlando Magic extended a qualifying offer to Ryan Anderson on Thursday, the team announced, thereby giving them the right to match any offer the 24-year-old receives in free agency. Anderson won Most Improved Player honors in 2012, his first season as a regular starter, by averaging 16.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game on 43.9 percent shooting.
Teams can begin negotiating with free agents on July 1st, and can begin signing free agents on July 11th. If Anderson signs an offer sheet with another team, the Magic will have three days to either match the offer sheet to retain him under the terms of that contract or to let him sign with that team.
Under Otis Smith, the Magic matched offer sheets Marcin Gortat signed with the Dallas Mavericks and J.J. Redick signed with the Chicago Bulls. It's unknown if Rob Hennigan, the Magic's new General Manager, will take a similar approach with regard to his restricted free agents.
Anderson is among seven Magic players who can become free agents on July 1st.