WEDNESDAY, 10:40am: The Magic have officially announced the completion of the Anderson/Ayon sign-and-trade in a press release.
SUNDAY, 3:21pm: The Hornets will acquire Ryan Anderson in a sign-and-trade deal with the Magic, writes Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski. Once the moratorium ends, Anderson will agree to a four-year, $36MM deal with New Orleans, and the Magic will receive Hornets center Gustavo Ayon.
Anderson had plans to sign an offer sheet with New Orleans that the Magic were unwilling to match, and instead of losing him for nothing, managed to walk away with a decent big man. (Ayon averaged 5.9PPG and 4.9RPG in 54 games with the Hornets last season.)
Coming off a breakout season in which he was named the NBA's Most Improved Player, Anderson will join a suddently intriguing Hornets team that now features two bright lottery picks, Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers, and if the team chooses to match Phoenix's offer sheet for Eric Gordon, one of the league's most talented shooting guards will also be on board.
Orlando's unwillingness to match Anderson's offer sheet signifies that they're officially entrenched in a clear rebuilding effort, and a deal involving Dwight Howard appears to be even more likely now than before—although "before" felt like an eventual certainty anyway. Anderson's departure should also open up some more playing time for Magic first round pick Andrew Nicholson.