Orlando has agreed to a sign-and-trade deal, sending restricted free agent forward Ryan Anderson to New Orleans for forward Gustavo Ayon, a person familiar with the agreement said.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the NBA’s trade moratorium prevents clubs from announcing such moves before July 11.
The 6-foot-10 Anderson is entering his fifth NBA season out of California. He started 61 games for Orlando last season, averaging 16.1 points and 7.7 rebounds.
Ayon, also 6-10, spent his rookie NBA season in New Orleans last year after playing in Spain’s top pro league. The 27-year-old Mexican started 24 games for the Hornets, averaging 5.9 points and 4.9 rebounds in 20.1 minutes.
Anderson has exceptional shooting range, giving him the versatility to also play on the wing. He led the NBA with 3-pointers made (166) and attempted (422) last season. He shot just above 39 percent from beyond the arc, which ranked 27th in the league.
The Hornets will have to figure out where Anderson fits best in a lineup that also will include top overall draft choice Anthony Davis. Davis is tall enough at nearly 6-11 to play center, but likely will have to begin his career playing mostly at power forward because he lacks the bulk to match up against some of the NBA’s top big men such as Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum.
In Ayon, Orlando acquires a quick, strong and hustling frontcourt player whose court awareness drew praise from Hornets coaches. Ayon shot 54 percent last season with highs of 16 points (twice) and 17 rebounds, showing the potential to be a solid player if he can produce more consistently.