Yesterday, San Antonio Express News columnist Buck Harvey reported that James Anderson’s agent is encouraging the Spurs to trade the second year shooting guard who has been buried on the bench since he had a poor start to in the first half of his first start of the season against Golden State.
He’s shown flashes of why the Spurs drafted him (his play during the near come back against the Mavs comes to mind) but he’s also looked really bad in other games (last night’s Portland game was awful).
In a way I feel bad for Anderson. First he got benched and despite two of their top three guards being injured for most of the season, he still couldn’t get some time on the court. Then his contract option didn’t get picked up, so he has to worry about being a free agent this summer and isn’t getting any playing time to show other team what he’s got.
So now he’s looking at signing with a team for the league minimum next season, being a training camp invitee or hanging out in the D-League waiting for guys to get injured so he can sign a ten day contract. This guy was supposed to be the Spurs’ sixth man this season, so I’m sure the last couple of months of his life haven’t been what he’s expecting. Then again, he’s a millionaire at age 22 so I don’t feel that bad for him.
That being said, he’s requested a trade and as the Spurs normally do, they’ll probably try to accommodate him. So what else would I do in this situation but try to find some trade partners for James Anderson. This is way less exciting than my Tony Parker trade columns, but probably won’t piss off nearly as many readers. Here we go!
–Matt Bonner and James Anderson for Chris Anderson: Let the Birdman fly through the AT&T Center. Did you know Birdman has a PER of 20? That’s shockingly good. The Spurs have plenty of scorers, but they need a guy who can block some shots and can defend the pick and roll. I know Matt Bonner stretches the floor and is critical to the spacing, but you know what Matt Bonner doesn’t do? He doesn’t show up in the playoffs. In the last three seasons, Bonner has shot 31 percent from three. Anderson would add some depth to a Nuggets team that apparently can’t keep anyone healthy. Let the Birdman fly!
-DeJuan Blair and James Anderson for Taj Gibson and John Lucas III: If only wishing made it so! Gibson would be perfect for what the Spurs need right now. John Lucas III would still be the guy LeBron jumped over a few weeks ago. Gibson is an excellent defender. He can rebound, block shots, help defend, you name it. The Bulls really need some perimeter scoring to help Derrick Rose, especially since Rip Hamilton can’t seem to get healthy. Blair would make up for losing Gibson’s rebounding and he’s a slightly better offensive player, but he would also drive Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau nuts on how often he gets turned around on the pick and roll. So this one probably isn’t happening, but man would it be sweet if it did.
–Matt Bonner and James Anderson for Anthony Tolliver and Anthony Randolph: In case you haven’t noticed, the Spurs can’t get much back for Mister Anderson alone, but the Wolves need perimeter scoring and need to thin out their interior just a bit. Randolph and Tolliver play less than 30 minutes per game combined, so it’s not like they’re key cogs in what Minnesota is doing. Aside from Wayne Ellington, the Wolves don’t have a true shooting guard, so Anderson could fill that void. I think Bonner and Anderson could both do incredibly well with Ricky Rubio getting them open looks. The Spurs would get back two mobile bigs who can defend the pick and roll pretty well. They both have their warts to be sure. Randoph for example has all the potential in the world and has never capitalized on it. The Spurs once tried to fit Tolliver in to the Bonner role before, but so why not find a place for him again. This trade also works if you swap Anderson and Tolliver straight up or convince Kahn to give up wait for it… wait for it… DARKO for Bonner and Anderson.