A bit of confusing news in the fallout of yesterday’s flurry of extensions and non-extensions. According to Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News, the San Antonio Spurs declined to pick up the third year option on James Anderson’s contract.
Harvey writes the Spurs decided not to pick up Anderson’s contract because of the emergence of Danny Green. He added that the Spurs spent all Wednesday (and many days before that) trying to decide if they should pick up the option. They feared that if they didn’t pick up his option, he’d become the next Ian Mahimni, who has turned in to a decent big man for the Mavs. But Green’s emergence and Gary Neal coming back from injury has buried Anderson on the bench, which Harvey noted has buried his trade value.
And that’s the big problem with this move. You can’t trade Anderson for anything more than probably a 2nd round pick because people haven’t seen him play. Let’s assume Anderson does get off the bench before Manu comes back and plays well. By not picking up his option for next season, the Spurs have hurt his trade value you that way because the most that the team that owns Anderson’s rights, be it the Spurs or someone else, is $1.5 million. Any other team can offer him more if they choose, though that seems likely at this point.
Maybe I’m too biased towards Anderson, but I feel like he hasn’t gotten a fair shake as a Spur. Not that anything is promised to him, but he got the hook really quickly after a slow first half to his one start this season. You know what happened after that. Danny Green exploded on to the scene. I’m not taking anything away from Green, he’s been fantastic. It just feels like in times where the Spurs needed some added perimeter defense they could’ve taken someone like Gary Neal off the court and put Anderson in.
I guess this is why I’m not a GM. If I were going to trade Anderson, I would’ve extended him so any team trading for him would have control over him past this season. I’d also be playing him more than garbage time to show teams he can still play. This news is a bit of a bummer, but hopefully Anderson does get some run before Manu gets back which will convince the Spurs to sign him in the summer or some other team to give him an honest shot next season. I’m already looking at the Clippers.