According to sources the New Orleans Hornets have agreed to terms with restricted free agent and the NBA’s 2012 Most Improved Player, Ryan Anderson.
The apparent deal is said to be over four years, worth between $34 and $36 million and will officially be a sign-and-trade deal with Orlando receiving Gustavo Ayon in return.
The 24-year-old Anderson had a huge season last year for the Magic averaging 16.1 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per game, while shooting a tremendous 39% from the three point line. But it was clear Orlando were not going to pay Anderson the money he wanted in free agency.
On the other side the Magic receive center Gustavo Ayon. A rookie last season, Ayon averaged 5.9 ppg with 4.9 rpg in 20.1 minutes a game for New Orleans. He shot a healthy 54% from the field and showed glimpses of potential to become a solid player if he could perform on a more consistent basis.
With the trade New Orleans continued their active off-season, having already traded away Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor to Washington in exchange for Rashard Lewis; whom they immediately bought out for $13.7 million.
The Hornets also made arguably the most noise in the NBA Draft, taking athletic big man Anthony Davis with the number 1 pick and guard Austin Rivers at number 10. Most recently they are insisting that they will match the Phoenix Suns $56 million offer to their restricted free agent guard Eric Gordon.
If they do in fact resign Eric Gordon, the Hornets will have put together a playoff worthy roster and continue to move in a positive direction in the post Chris Paul era.