It's the Hornets' second trade in a 24-hour span in an attempt to reinforce their front line following the dismissal of forward Chris Andersen last week for violating the NBA's drug policy.
"We were real small," coach Byron Scott said at the team's shootaround. "We've gotten bigger in a matter of minutes."
Hunter, a 7-footer, is averaging 4.9 points and 3.4 rebounds in 35 games with the 76ers this season. A first-round pick by Orlando in 2001, he played three seasons with the Magic and one with Phoenix before signing with Philadelphia as a free agent before this season.
"We're excited. We bring in another athlete, a 7-foot athlete, 24 years old who runs and jumps and does a lot of the things that we want here," Scott said. "I think he'll fit in extremely well."
The Hornets are giving up their 2006 and 2007 second-round picks and will also receive cash considerations from Philadelphia.
To replace Hunter, the Sixers signed journeyman Zendon Hamilton to a 10-day contract. Hamilton, who has played for seven teams in his six seasons, averaged 2.3 points in 11 games this season with the Cavaliers, who signed him to a pair of 10-day contracts.
He averaged 3.7 points and 3.2 rebounds in 34 games for Philadelphia in 2003-04.
"One thing I think that Zendon will bring is toughness inside. He's not afraid to take a hard foul," Sixers president Billy King said. "He's a good rebounder and a good defensive player, and I think with this team that's what we need."
On Tuesday, the Hornets acquired Aaron Williams from Toronto for their other 2006 second-round pick and a 2009 second-rounder. Williams is expected to be in uniform for New Orleans' game against
Chicago on Wednesday night.
"We were able to get a young center that we feel is going to get much better and better, that's shown improvement," Scott said. "He had his best year in Phoenix playing the type of basketball that we play. And then we got a veteran in Aaron Williams. We've still got our first-round picks."
Unlike Williams, who played for Scott in New Jersey for more than three seasons, Hunter may take longer to fit in.
"There'll be an adjustment for Steven because this is an offense that he hasn't done," Scott said. "But again, once we get him in, we'll go over it every single day with him just to try to get him as comfortable as possible. ... I don't think it'll take him real long because one thing that we do a lot of is repetition on our offense."