Ryan Anderson: Orlando Magic Reportedly Trade Center to Hornets

Justin Welton@JustinWeltonAnalyst IIJuly 8, 2012

The Orlando Magic rumor mill continues to churn, and this time it's not about center Dwight Howard. Surprising, I know. 

It involves another talented big man. 

According to Marc Stein of ESPN, Ryan Anderson has been traded to the New Orleans Hornets, and the deal is close to being final.

I'm told New Orleans Hornets will acquire Ryan Anderson via sign-and-trade deal with Orlando. Deal is on verge of completion today

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 8, 2012

Anderson averaged 16.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game this past season with Orlando.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the deal is for four years and $36 million. 

The New Orleans Hornets agreement with Ryan Anderson is four years, approximately $36 million, league sources tell Y! Sports.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 8, 2012

In four NBA seasons, Anderson has proven to be a player who can stretch the floor with his size. He brings a constant mismatch on the floor, given his 6'10" size and stroke from the perimeter.

Anderson went through his share of struggles in New Jersey and in his first year in Orlando, but he has pulled himself together nicely. Young players entering the NBA go through their ups and downs, and Anderson has been through both.

But now he's ready for an increased role, and it appears that it will come with the New Orleans Hornets.

Could this trade be one that brings in another quality player for Dwight Howard? Trading a young player who just averaged 16 and seven per game should bring back a quality return. 

Will that be enough for Howard? Probably not, given how focused he seems on Brooklyn or possibly other suitors.

But I don't see that being the reason for the trade. The real reason, in my mind, would be that a total rebuilding phase is about to begin. One that gets rid of Anderson while his price is at its highest, with Howard following shortly.

Orlando is stuck in a weird and possibly desperate position because of Howard. Unless the big man decides to stay, he has personally dug a hole that the organization might not get out of for another five years.  

However, preparing for the worst is the best way to go about this. Trading Anderson away might spell for a Howard trade in the near future, but for now, the Magic can start the rebuilding phase with more options.