New Orleans Pelicans

Ryan Anderson Sign-and-Trade to New Orleans Is Great Move, Questions Remain

DENVER, CO - APRIL 22:  Ryan Anderson #33 of the Orlando Magic takes a shot over Arron Afflalo #6 of the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center on April 22, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Will OsgoodAnalyst IJuly 8, 2012

Sunday, multiple sources reported the New Orleans Hornets were finalizing a trade to send second-year center Gustavo Ayon to the Orlando Magic for the most improved player of the 2012 season, small forward Ryan Anderson

Anderson is a restricted free agent whose status requires a sign-and-trade, much the way an Eric Gordon-to-Phoenix deal likely would at this point. Anderson will reportedly sign a four-year, $36 million deal to spend the next four years in New Orleans. 

He will bring his 16 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, as well as his 40 percent three-point shooting, to the Hornets. There is little doubt the Hornets will appreciate his offense and ability to stroke it from deep. 

That is, of course, something they desperately missed in previous seasons. 

With him and Eric Gordon, the Hornets will now have two of the top shooters in the entire league on their roster, and maybe in their starting lineup. 

Maybe, because Anderson is really more of a power forward than he is a small forward or center. There is no way he will play power forward the next four years when Anthony Davis is set to man that spot for the next 15 years (health and his own enthusiasm assumed). 

It is possible that without Ayon in the mix, Davis could slide over to play center. But at roughly 220 lbs, Davis will get eaten up trying to guard the Gasol brothers, Andrew Bynum or Dwight Howard when they cross paths. 

Clearly, with his current body and skill set, Davis is better suited for the power forward position. He figures to display Blake Griffin-like skills at the position, with more defensive ability and production. 

That, of course, leaves some question marks. Does the team still try to bring in someone like JaVale McGee to man the center spot? Does Jason Smith become the starting center? 

And what do you do with Al-Farouq Aminu if you do choose to start Anderson at the small forward spot? Does he simply become a bench player or do you trade him? Maybe another team gets the rights to a starting-caliber center. 

It is clear the Hornets like second-round pick Darius Miller at the wing spot as well. It could mean there is a logjam at the wing spot. 

But one thing is clear: the Hornets have added another great piece to their roster. Anderson will improve the team offensively. He gives them the desired length, which Monty Williams has talked about adding to his roster this offseason. 

Let's not worry about those questions today. Let's just be happy that Dell Demps continues to add quality players to the roster. 

 

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