Magic trade Ryan Anderson to Hornets for Gustavo Ayon

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have acquired forward Ryan Anderson from the Orlando Magic in exchange for forward/center Gustavo Ayon.

“We are very excited to add a player of Ryan’s caliber to the Hornets Organization and the New Orleans Community,” Hornets General Manager Dell Demps said. “Ryan is a high character person, a good teammate and a player we believe will make the Hornets a better team.”

Anderson (6-10, 240), was drafted with the 21st overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets, averaged career-highs of 16.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and shot 39 percent from three-point range in 61 games last season (all starts) en route to being named the NBA’s Comeback Player of the Year. Anderson made at least seven three-pointers in a game four times last season and made at least five in a game 11 times. He was just the second power forward in NBA history to lead the league in three-pointers made. The University of California product scored at least 20 points in a game 11 times last season, including a career-best 30 points at New York on Jan. 16. He collected 10 or more rebounds 16 times including a career-high 20 on Jan. 30 against Philadelphia. Anderson has played four seasons in the NBA with the Magic and the Nets, his career averages are 10.4 points and 5.3 rebounds in 254 career games (111 starts).

Ayón (6’10”, 245, 4/1/85) played in 54 games last season with the Hornets, averaging 5.9 ppg., 4.9 rpg. and 1.4 apg. in 20.1 minpg., while shooting a team-high .536 (140-261) from the field during his rookie campaign.  He started in 24 games, averaging 8.3 ppg., 6.4 rpg., 2.0 apg., 1.38 stlpg. and 1.08 blkpg. in 28.5 minpg. during that span.  Ayón ranked in the top ten among all NBA rookies in field goal percentage (second), rebounding (fifth), blocked shots (fifth, 0.85 blkpg.) and steals (seventh, 0.98 stlpg.).

Ayón led (or tied) the Hornets in rebounding nine times and in assists twice last season.  He scored in double figures 11 times, including a career-high 16 points twice, the last time on Mar. 15 vs. Washington.  Ayón also pulled down 10+ rebounds five times and recorded two double-doubles.  He tallied a career-high 17 rebounds on Feb. 22 @ Cleveland.

Originally signed as a free agent by New Orleans on Dec. 21, 2011, Ayón is the third Mexican-born player in NBA history (Horacio Llamas, Eduardo Najera).  Prior to joining the Hornets, he played two seasons (2009-11) in Spain with Fuenlabrada of the ACB League, Spain’s top division, which is widely regarded as the best domestic league outside of the NBA.  Ayón was named the 2010-11 ACB “Best Newcomer” after averaging 10.8 ppg. and 6.3 rpg. in 22.6 minpg.  He also played professionally in Mexico for three seasons (2006-09) with Halcones de Xalapa, leading them to back-to-back championships in 2007-08 and 2008-09.  Ayón was a member of the Mexican National Team in 2009.