NBA Trade Rumors: How the Ryan Anderson Trade Helps the New Orleans Hornets

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NBA Trade Rumors: How the Ryan Anderson Trade Helps the New Orleans Hornets
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ESPN's Marc Stein has just reported that the Orlando Magic have traded forward Ryan Anderson to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for forward Gustavo Ayon.

Anderson will join Anthony Davis, the No. 1 overall pick in this June's draft, in the Hornets' frontcourt. 

Anderson, the league's Most Improved Player last year, averaged 16 points and 8 rebounds this past season, though those numbers dipped down to 10 points and 5 rebounds in the playoffs when Dwight Howard was out with a back injury.

Davis was the consensus first overall pick in the draft and is especially lauded for his defensive abilities. He led the nation last season in blocks with 4.7 per game for the University of Kentucky.

Though both Anderson and Davis are considered power forwards, both are capable of playing center for long stretches of time. While Davis' prowess is on the defensive side of the court, Anderson's is on the offensive end, and he does not act like a true big man in that context. He loves to step out on the perimeter and shoot three-pointers.

Anderson had the green light from former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy to shoot threes, as Howard's post presence promoted an inside-out offense. With no intimidating post presence on offense in New Orleans, Anderson's role may change.

The Hornets also drafted guard Austin Rivers with the tenth overall pick and plan to match the offer sheet that guard Eric Gordon signed with the Phoenix Suns a few days ago.

Gordon was the centerpiece of the trade that sent guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers in December and will surely be the face of the Hornets franchise in the future. Anderson provides a terrific frontcourt option for coach Monty Williams whether in the post or on the perimeter.

Anderson will immediately make the Hornets playoff contenders in the West, as any team with a backcourt of Rivers and Gordon and a frontcourt boasting Davis and Anderson is a threat.

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