Denton: Magic to Deal Anderson in Sign-and-Trade to Hornets

By John Denton
July 8, 2012

ORLANDO – Choosing to retain their salary cap flexibility while also adding an asset, the Orlando Magic will reportedly deal power forward Ryan Anderson to the New Orleans Hornets when the NBA free agency moratorium is lifted on Wednesday.

Under the parameters of the deal reported by NBA.com and ESPN.com, the Magic will receive 6-foot-10 center Gustavo Ayon in the sign-and-trade deal. Anderson, a perimeter-oriented power forward, will sign a four-year contract worth between $34-36 million.

Also, the Magic have decided to guarantee the contract of shooting guard J.J. Redick for next season. The Magic had until Sunday to make a decision of whether to waive or retain Redick, and they have decided to keep the steadily improving guard who averaged a career-best 11.6 points a game last season. Redick’s $6 million contract will be guaranteed for next season.

Under NBA rules, Magic officials can’t comment on the prospective moves until Wednesday and the Anderson transaction won’t become official until then as well.

The Magic are hosting the AirTran Airways Orlando Pro Summer League Monday through Friday at the Amway Center. It will feature the debuts of Magic rookies Andrew Nicholson and Kyle O’Quinn, Orlando’s picks in the June NBA Draft.

Second-year forward Justin Harper will plays for the Magic as will free-agent holdovers Ish Smith and DeAndre Liggins. The event is closed to the public because of space limitations inside the Magic’s practice court.

Anderson won the NBA’s Most Improved Player of the Year last season while averaging 16.1 points and 7.7 rebounds and leading the NBA in made 3-pointers (166). But Anderson slumped badly in the playoffs against Indiana, averaging just 9.6 points a game on 34.1 percent shooting from the floor.

Ayon, 27, is thought to be a solid prospect because of his ability to score from the low block. He played in 54 games last season with the Hornets, starting 24 of those games. He averaged 5.9 points and 4.9 rebounds while playing 20.1 minutes a night. He had 16 points twice, 17 rebounds against Cleveland in February and four blocks against Golden State in April.

Ayon is just the third Mexican-born NBA player in history, joining Horacio Llamas and current Charlotte Bobcat Eduardo Najera. Prior to signing with the Hornets last December, Ayon played in Spain’s top devision, starting ahead of 2011 first-round pick Bismack Biyombo, a center for the Charlotte Bobcats. He averaged 15.9 points and 8.2 rebounds a game while shooting 65.7 percent from the floor in the Spanish League.

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