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Ryan Anderson heading to New Orleans in a sign and trade; Magic receive Ayon

2012 July 8
by Brian Serra

Ryan Anderson will no longer be draining threes and pulling in offensive rebounds as a member of the Orlando Magic. Anderson, a restricted free agent, has come to an agreement with the New Orleans and the team decided that they would not match his offer. The deal is reported to be for 4 years and $36M.

Instead of signing an offer sheet and forcing the team to either match or let him walk, the teams came to terms on a sign and trade that would send New Orleans 6’10” center, Gustavo Ayon, to the Magic.

While the team expressed interest in bringing Anderson back, it should not come as a shock that the organization is hesitant to commit long term to an expensive role player. It was my personal belief that the open market would drive Anderson away from Orlando and it did just that.  Agreeing to the sign and trade allows the Magic to receive a solid rotational player on the cheap, instead of losing Anderson for nothing.

Ayon is a 27 year old Mexican heading into his 2nd year in the NBA. He previously played in Spain before coming to New Orleans during the off season last year and averaged 6ppg, 5rpg in 20 minutes per game for the Hornets. He is regarded as a very good center prospect, despite his age, and will contribute immediately to the Magic front court – likely reserve role to Dwight Howard/Andrew Bynum/Brook Lopez.

Anderson is a very good player and one of the nicest, genuine players in the league. Unfortunately he doesn’t fit into the Rob Hennigan mold to reshape the Magic, especially in a time of such flux. Best of luck to Anderson as he starts his new adventure in NOLA.

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