Ryan Anderson received a hefty pay raise from the Orlando Magic — and now has a new NBA team.
The former Oak Ridge High and Cal basketball standout who played for the Magic the last three seasons officially agreed Wednesday to re-sign with Orlando, then traded to the New Orleans Hornets as part of a sign-and-trade agreement. The two sides agreed Sunday night, but the deal could not be sealed until Wednesday when the NBA can begin signing free agents. Anderson was a restricted free agent.
Chris Emens, Anderson’s agent, confirmed Monday morning that the 6-foot-10 power forward will be traded to the Hornets. According to NBA.com, Anderson signed a four-year deal that will earn him $34 to $36 million. And ESPN.com reported that the Magic will receive center Gustavo Ayon in the trade.
Last season was one of Anderson’s best seasons in the NBA. The former Trojan started 61 games for Orlando, averaging 16.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. His accomplishment earned him the NBA’s Most Improved Player award. He shot 87 percent from the free throw line and nailed 39.3 percent of his three-pointers. He averaged 32.2 minutes per game.
Emens said Anderson is ready to start a new chapter in his NBA career that will include playing with former Kentucky star and highly touted power forward Anthony Davis, who was drafted by the Hornets in their first pick in the first round of the NBA Draft two weeks ago.
“He’s excited,” said Emens of Anderson “They (New Orleans) are putting the pieces together to win. He wants to go out and compete and win basketball games. He’s all about winning.”
Oak Ridge High boys basketball coach Steve Scott, who coached Anderson during his first tenure and returned to the Trojans program last season, said Anderson is the same type of person today he was back during his Trojan days in the mid-2000s; a hard working person who takes nothing for granted. Making the move to New Orleans will only be a plus in Scott’s opinion.
“That’s the best situation for him and Orlando,” Scott said “They have a good young draft pick (in Davis). I’m excited for (Anderson).”
Early last week, the 6-foot-10 Anderson met with Sacramento Kings officials in what seemed to bring the potential excitement of Anderson playing closer to home before the sign-and-trade deal with the Magic and Hornets.