According to numerous reports, the New Orleans Hornets have acquired Ryan Anderson in a sign-and-trade. The Hornets sent the mysterious Gustavo Ayon to the Orlando Magic. Anderson gets a 4-year, $34 million deal with N'awlins.
The Hornets are looking more and more intriguing and, other than the medical staff, I don't know why Eric Gordon would rather be in Phoenix where the situation looks a lot more hopeless. New Orleans, if they get back Gordon, would have a good young core of Anderson, Anthony Davis, and Austin Rivers. New Orleans is going back up sooner than later. And all they had to do was give up Ayon.
Anderson's contract really isn't that bad. $8.5 million per year is considered a steal by some people. The Most Improved Player winner averaged 16.1 points and 7.7 boards last season. He is a career 38 percent 3-pt shooter and a fantastic offensive rebounder (averaged 3.7 last season, good for 5th). He will definitely help the Hornets in both departments.
I would like to see Ayon, who came out of absolutely nowhere last season, get more PT (just over 20 minutes per game last season) in Orlando. His never-ending motor, defense, and rebounding (4.9 boards last season) can help out any team. While even the hardcore NBA fan doesn't know much about him, from what I've seen, he's the type of player that I would want on my team.
New Orleans is making the climb to respectability pretty quickly after the Chris Paul episode (thank David Stern!) and it went as well as they could have hoped for. Meanwhile, the Anderson trade signals that Orlando is ready to start over. I'm sure, at some point, they'll try to get rid of some unsavory contracts they signed for the main purpose of appeasing that center that wore #12 for them. So why did they re-sign Jameer Nelson again?
PHOTO CREDIT: Marc Serota and Doug Pensinger/Getty Images.