The Orlando Magic have agreed to send restricted free agent Ryan Anderson to the New Orleans Hornets for center Gustavo Ayon, per multiple reports. Trading Anderson is apparently a move by Orlando to shave salary, as Anderson’s new contract is valued at $36 million over four years. Ayon is under contract for only $3 million over the next two seasons.
Anderson flourished in a starting role for the Magic last season, averaging 16.1 ppg and 7.7 rpg in 61 starts for Orlando in 2011-2012. Anderson is also an excellent outside shooter and shot .393 from three-point range, leading the NBA in three pointers made (166) and attempted (422). Adding Anderson to along with no.1 overall pick Anthony Davis, no. 10 pick Austin Rivers and potential re-signing of restricted free agent Eric Gordon gives the Hornets a promising young core for the future.
Ayon, 27, averaged 5.9 ppg and 4.9 rpg in 20 minutes for the Hornets while appearing in 54 games, including 24 starts. The 6’10″ center is a serviceable back up rotation post player. The Magic seemed to be positioning themselves to move disgruntled all-star center Dwight Howard and enter a rebuilding period under new general manager Rob Henningan.