Four-team trade sends Collison to Pacers, Ariza to Hornets

(Reuters) - The Indiana Pacers acquired point guard Darren Collison while the New Orleans Hornets received forward Trevor Ariza as part of a four-team, five-player trade in the NBA on Wednesday.

Ariza, who averaged 14.9 points last season with the Houston Rockets, was traded to the Hornets, who then sent former first-round picks Collison and James Posey to the Indiana Pacers.

To complete the trade, Indiana sent forward Troy Murphy to the New Jersey Nets, who then sent Courtney Lee to Houston.

The Pacers are hoping Collison, who averaged 12.4 points last season with New Orleans, will be able to help the team return to the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

"He's a dynamic young point guard and we believe that he will be a key piece of our goal of building a team that the fans in Indiana deserve," Larry Bird, Indiana's president of basketball operations, said in a statement.

Murphy averaged 14.6 points per game last season with the Pacers, Lee had 12.5 with the Nets and Posey averaged 5.2 with the Hornets.

In acquiring Ariza, who won an NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009, the Hornets add another weapon to a roster that already boasts All-Star point guard Chris Paul, the fourth-overall pick in 2005.

"This move gives us a dynamic addition to our roster," Hornets general manager Dell Demps said in a statement.

"Trevor is an athletic, defending, scoring wing who is in the prime of his career."

In a separate trade, the Hornets acquired Italian guard Marco Belinelli from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for forward Julian Wright.

(Writing by Frank Pingue in Toronto

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