Before canceling the second of the Orlando Magic's two practices on Thursday, coach Jacque Vaughn told the media he will start second-year player Gustavo Ayón in Sunday's preseason game against the New Orleans Hornets, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports. The teams are set to play in Mexico City, the capital of Ayón's home country. Ayón is only the third Mexican-born player in NBA history.
A report Tuesday indicated Ayón is battling Nikola Vučević and Kyle O'Quinn for Orlando's starting center job.
As a rookie, Ayón averaged 5.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.4 assists for the Hornets. Orlando acquired him from New Orleans in a sign-and-trade deal featuring Ryan Anderson, the NBA's Most Improved Player.
Tipoff between the Magic and Hornets is set for 2:30 Eastern on Sunday. NBA TV will broadcast the exhibition, which marks the 20th time the NBA has played in Mexico.
Orlando will practice on Friday morning at 10 AM before departing for Mexico City. One can view the Magic's complete preseason schedule here.