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Discussing Ryan Anderson with Orlando Pinstriped Post

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Feb 25, 2012; Orlando, FL, USA; Ryan Anderson of the Orlando Magic competes in the 2012 NBA All-Star Three Point Contest at the Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE
Feb 25, 2012; Orlando, FL, USA; Ryan Anderson of the Orlando Magic competes in the 2012 NBA All-Star Three Point Contest at the Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

In case you missed it: the Hornets agreed yesterday to to acquire Ryan Anderson in a sign and trade deal (4 years, $34-$36M) from the Orlando Magic in exchange for Gustavo Ayon (much sadness). The deal will become official on Wednesday. Today, Orlando Pinstriped Post's Evan Dunlap joins us to discuss Anderson's game and how he fits as a Hornet.

You'll want to follow along at OPP to track the next stage of Ayon's career.

But for today, it's all about Anderson! Jump!

Rohan: What are the main strengths of Anderson's game?

Evan: He's a deadeye shooter from deep off the catch. And his threes aren't cheapies, either: he can hit 'em from well beyond the arc. In addition, he's a brilliant offensive rebounder--despite playing the perimeter on offense--and a better finisher than you might expect based on his modest athleticism. Not that it's a surprise, given his great outside shooting, but Anderson's also a very good foul shooter.

R: What are his offensive weaknesses, and do you see those being exposed significantly by leaving Dwight Howard behind?

E: Anderson doesn't have much of a dribble-drive game, so when he gets run off the arc, he often has to just give up the ball and set up somewhere else. When he does put it on the deck, though, he's sorta crafty. He has a little spin move he'll use to shed the last line of defense before getting to the rim for a layup. It'll only happen a few times per season, but watch for it: if Anderson's dribbling to the hole, he's going to do that spin. Another weakness is his lack of a post-up game.

R: Since Anthony Davis ostensibly plays the same "position," the possibly redundancy there will be the topic of much discussion this summer in New Orleans. How did Anderson fare playing the 3 (or possibly even spots at the 5?), if at all, in Orlando?

E: Anderson never played small forward in Orlando, and very rarely played center. If the Hornets pair him with Davis, the top overall pick is gonna have to man the pivot.

R: Going off the last question, how do you see him fitting in with the current Hornets roster, assuming Gordon is re-signed?

E: I like Anderson for any team, really, because no team can ever have enough shooters. He's great spotting up or in pick-and-pop situations. If New Orleans' wings are able to scramble the defense with dribble-penetration, and have the vision to find Anderson beyond the arc, he's going to do quite well.

R: How is Anderson as a defensive player? Is there a particular type of player he guards better or one that he struggles with?

E: Anderson's an OK team defender who's usually in the right spot, doing the right thing, in terms of positioning. But individually, he's not so great, and it's not necessarily due to a lack of effort. He's especially vulnerable in the post: opposing teams essentially see him as having a bullseye painted on his chest, and they'll feed whomever Anderson's guarding on the block and watch him get backed down. This is a problem, but having Davis on the weakside should mitigate it some.

R: Are there any health issues to be concerned about long-term? Before last year, Anderson had never missed fewer than 16 games in a season, and for a team that's also dealing with the perpetually injured Eric Gordon, the team surely doesn't want lingering problems with its two best offensive players.

E: Anderson doesn't have any injury issues that I'm aware of. He's played through banged-up fingers and wrists before, but nothing serious.

R: What do you make of the proposed value of the contract (4 years/$34-36M) itself?

E: He's a steal at $34-36 million; I thought he'd get into eight figures annually myself, given his age and rare skill set. There are questions about how effective he can be without Dwight Howard drawing defensive attention away from him, but I think they're overstated a bit.

R: And lastly, any Ryan Anderson quirks we should be aware of?

Anderson invented a game called Snoggle.