Kyle Anderson – 14.6 ppg 8.8 rpg 6.5 apg
Kyle Anderson is one of the most unique players in the 2014 NBA draft. His extreme versatility makes him a fit to play the point guard as well as the power forward, if need be. NBA scouts list him as a forward due to his ability to do a little of everything. Projected to go late in the first round, Anderson would be a perfect fit for the Houston Rockets.
Pick #25 has a very good chance to be a solid player. Likely the deepest draft since my first NBA draft in 2003. Similar to 2005.
— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) May 23, 2014
Many are calling this draft class the best since 2003, with a lot of impact players outside of the top 5. Daryl Morey is confident that even at #25 the Rockets will be able to get a great player. Anderson would add depth to a struggling bench, and would be able to find minutes at different positions due to his versatility. Why? Here’s three reasons.
1. Shooting/Rebounding Ability
Anderson is an improved jump shooter. During his freshman year at UCLA he only shot 21% from behind the three point line. Last season he more than doubled that average shooting 48% from three. He has a very slow release but is excellent in catch and shoot situations, and is deadly when his feet are set. This makes him a valuable option off the bench. When James Harden drives, he will have a trusted three point shooter waiting on the wing. He also has the ability to go off the dribble and shoot over the top of defenders.
He is also a very good rebounder. He averaged almost nine rebounds a game last year. He excels at defensive rebounding, limiting opponents possessions to one shot. Even though he is not as athletic as other players, he is able to use his length and size to his advantage. He has the ability to reach over the top of an opponent and snag the rebound, which starts the fast break. For a team that likes to get up and down like the Rockets, Anderson would fit right in.
2. Size and Length
At 6’8’’, Kyle Anderson is the perfect size and length for an NBA small forward. Anderson is not the most athletic player in the draft by any means but his size and length definitely make up for it. With a wingspan of almost seven feet and three inches, he is able to make defensive plays that most forwards can’t. His length allows him to make plays in the passing lanes, racking up deflections which, in most cases, is just as good as steals.
His size also gives him the ability to score inside, as he can shoot over the top of most defenders. At 230 pounds, Anderson can also create mismatches with smaller players physically as he will be able to power his way to the rim. He does have a slow release in his jump shot, but his length and size give him the advantage making the slower release a non issue. Anderson has extremely long strides that give him the ability to glide past opponents with ease, making him an effective slasher.
3. Playing making ability
At UCLA Anderson was the quarterback of the offense. He showed off his versatility and the ability to be a point forward. Anderson averaged almost seven assists a game, proving that he has spectacular court vision. He uses his size to his advantage as he can see over the top of defenders and moves the ball extremely well. With his length and ball handling, Anderson has the ability to go coast to coast off of a defensive rebound. However, he is extremely unselfish and moves the ball in transition with the pass rather than the dribble. While posting up, he will face up most of the time and survey the floor for cutters hitting teammates in stride for easy points. This will only improve as he matures in the NBA.
Anderson was given the nickname “Slow-Mo” while in college. Since he struggles in the explosiveness department, he uses an array of hesitation moves to get past defenders. He is not as quick as the typical NBA guard, which does raise questions if he can really play a guard position at the next level.
The NBA Draft takes place next week and we are sure to see a lot of surprises. General Manager Daryl Morey has said that their are about 25-30 players on the Rockets radar right now. Kyle Anderson is definitely one of them, and if he is still available when it comes time for the Rockets to pick, the Rockets need to take a nice long look at drafting him.