Ryan Anderson to Hornets in Sign-And-Trade

Published: July 8, 2012

The Hornets’ tensely-awaited first move after July 1, a sign-and-trade for the NBA’s 2011-2012 Most Improved Player, strengthens their bid for 2012-2013 Most Improved Franchise.

The Hornets will officially complete a sign-and-trade with Orlando restricted free agent Ryan Anderson, the NBA’s 2011-2012 Most Improved Player.

The Hornets will send the 27 year-old Gustavo Ayon to Orlando in the deal.

Chuck reports that Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the 4-year deal is worth $36m.

Sam Amick now reports that the deal is worth $34m total, not $36m. With the maximum allowed 4.5% of first year salary increases, the deal is approximately structured as $8m initially with $0.36m raises. If the deal is worth more or has smaller raises, the initial figure is larger.

This deal does not affect the Hornets’ ability to match the offer for Eric Gordon, should that offer be signed. We’ll update the salary figures when the salary structure is released, but as of now we have about $36m committed, and about $44m there factoring in the rookies and the roster charge, with Gordon factoring in another $9.6m at this point. This leaves only about $5m left if we renounce our players, at least until the Gordon situation is resolved. Signing him to a max deal will obliterate the remaining potential cap space.

As the salaries do not match, it could be the Hornets are operating under the cap already, forgoing the use of certain exceptions this season. It could also be that the Hornets will create an exception in a sign-and-trade deal for Eric Gordon for a player and a pick or two. Dudley and Warrick have salaries that fit the profile. This would create a net effect of Gordon and Ayon for Anderson, a player, and a pick or two. There may be other scenarios, of course.

Could it be that this deal hints at the resolution of the Eric Gordon situation?

Ryan James Anderson was born in California and played college basketball at UC Berkeley, leading the PAC-10 in scoring (21.6 ppg) in 2007-2008. He was selected 21st overall in the 2008 NBA draft by the New Jersey Nets, earning the starting job partway through his rookie season. He was traded to Orlando in 2009 where he started at power forward in place of . . . Rashard Lewis.

The 6′ 10″, 240 pound power forward has posted WS/48 of .217 and 0.219 in his past 2 seasons, which should be compared to an expectation of 0.1 (or just slightly under). His true shooting percentage over the same span is 0.590. He hit the 3 at over 39% during this span, with over 8 attempts per 36 minutes, and has a 85% free throw percentage of over 85% for his career.

The 24 year-old’s defense has been fine, and his other “forward” skills are acceptable, but his ability to score from different positions is the distinguishing aspect of his game. He is also a very good offensive rebounder (top 30 in the NBA for those playing at least 10 games in terms of offensive rebounding percentage).

The Ryan Anderson Manifesto breaks down what is and is not good about Ryan as of party through last season.

From Joe, who is working on some Lance Thomas stuff:

Anderson will provide the Hornets with a big man who can shoot from deep- something Monty Williams repeatedly stressed he wanted during training camp last season. A player of Anderson’s three point shooting caliber provides the ability to draw defenders away from the paint, creating more space in the middle of the floor.

A front court of Anderson and Davis would ideally do best with a true drive and kick guy. While Eric Gordon isn’t the greatest passer, he’s definitely capable of finding the open man. If the Hornets do retain him, expect to see a lot of the drive and kick in the coming years.

While some will argue that Davis and Anderson are too small to bang with the true big men in the NBA, there really aren’t too many teams with dominant centers on the offensive end. Expect the Hornets to add a relatively low paid center with some girth and height to contain guys like Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum. Greg Stiemsma’s name has been mentioned, and he would fit that role well.

This post will be updated as the story grows. Look for a profile of Anderson later by someone else, and I’m sure our own Ryan and Mike will talk about him on the upcoming podcast (unless they did it early).

Updates in the comments are appreciated (appreciate you, Chuck).

Marc Stein and Sam Amick broke the story in pieces, not into pieces.

McNamara Update:

– Ryan Anderson was #2 on my list, right behind Illysova. Once Illysova re-signed with Milwaukee, Hornets got a guy who was just as good offensively and is a better fit defensively. Read that link to see why.

– FT shooting is underrated in this league. Dallas was elite for years and won a title, last year, in large part because Tyson actually started to knock down his free throws. OKC and Miami are two of the best at getting to line and converting. Ryan Anderson is, wuite possibly, the best FT shooting big in the league. He hit 88% of his FT’s last year. Davis will likely be in the 75-82% range, meaning that the Hornets can leave their bigs on the court in crunch time. Huge advantage.

– Top 5 players in the league in ‘Simple Rating’? LBJ, Wade, CP3, Durant, and Howard. Most say those are the top 5 players in the league. Guess who was #6? That’s right, Ryan Anderson. Simple rating basically looks at your performance vs. your counterpart. Impressive. Look at that list.

– Can Anderson play SF? Quick answer, no. He actually played far more center than small forward last year and actually defended that position fairly well. Centers only shot 40.5% when covered by Ryan Anderson last year. You ask me “Who starts at center?” If you know me by now, you know I will answer – Who cares? It’s about who finishes, and it will be Anderson and Davis closing out games at the 4 and 5 position.

– The Magic scored+14 points per 100 possessions when Anderson was on the court vs. when he was off. For comparison’s sake, the T’Wolves were +8 when Love was on vs. off

– Ryan Anderson is not afraid of taking the clutch shot. He hit 61.4% of his jumpers in crunch time last year. Hit 87% of his free throws.

– For those worried about Anderson/Davis combo against players like Andrew Bynum, take the time to reverse the question. How will Bynum cover either of these guys? Anderson was fantastic off the pick and pop, easily Bynum’s biggest weakness, and Davis can take Bynum off the dribble all day, beat him in the open court, etc. Much easier to double the post than to try and make your center agile when he is not.



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