2: Signing Ryan Anderson to a handicapping contract
Coming off of the 2015-2016 season, the Houston Rockets were searching for a new identity. They had fired Kevin McHale less than a month into the season and managed to have some good moment but, overall, they underachieved.
So, the next offseason, they went out and hired Mike D’Antoni to become their head coach and doing so, they fulled moved into the Moreyball era, all threes and dunks. Outscore everyone at all costs. In order to do this, they needed to go out and players who fit this scheme. Clint Capela would be the anchor in the middle and James Harden would organize the offseason. Everyone else needed to be able to spot up along the three point line.
In buying in with the big spending spree of the 2016 offseason, the Houston Rockets added Ryan Anderson, a known three point specialist from the power forward position, on a huge contract to the tune of $80 million over four years.
It was big money but it was okay because the salary cap had boomed and he was going to be the perfect addition to this team. He would be the perfect floor spacer to compliment Capela and for Harden to dish the ball to when he drove the basket.
Year one went pretty well, he shot over 40% from three and played a pretty big role on the offense. However, he was a major liability on defense and in the playoffs, especially on days when his shot wasn’t falling. This problem was only exacerbated in year two where he pretty much fell out of the rotation by the end of the season. His contract was a burden and prevented the team from adding players who could add more to the team.
Ultimately, the Rockets were finally able to bail on Anderson and they shipped him, along with De’Anthony Melton to the Suns for Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss this past offseason. Fast forward, Knight and Chriss are off the roster and Anderson is riding Miami’s bench. It’s safe to say this deal was a flop and should have been an April Fools joke.