The Houston Rockets have decided to bring back Ryan Anderson into the fold and the idea is certainly a good one. Why? What will be his role be? Let’s look.
Houston Rockets fans — fasten your seat belt as the 2019-20 season is right around the corner and the team is putting together the final pieces of the roster to ensure it has all of the weapons in place to compete for a championship.
I have to applaud general manager Daryl Morey for going out and still trying to go for ensuring that this team is at its best at all times by ensuring the level of talent among it remains high. Morey could’ve been complacent and said that the Houston Rockets could continue winning games with Chris Paul running the point.
We all know that it’s not how Morey operates as he always is looking to tweak, tinker and work to improve the team so that they remain competitive. But he pulled off the unthinkable — being able to trade CP3’s albatross-like contract of $40 million per season for the next three to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Russell Westbrook.
It was a jaw-dropping move that had me stunned for minutes after it happened as I wasn’t sure how to react. The player that I had such a strong disdain for will now be a member of my beloved team and I actually loved the notion.
Westbrook is a terrific ballplayer but that notion ends when he’s an opponent for the Houston Rockets.
It’s just going to be extremely exciting to see him paired up with James Harden and although it may take a short while for the chemistry to come together between the two, I think it will work because both are good friends.
Although Westbrook is the headliner to the offseason period this time around, we cannot overlook the additions that help with the depth of this team. I think the signing of Tyson Chandler, as well as Thabo Sefolosha, gives the bench a deeper, yet experienced presence that will be able to stand the test of time.
Keith Jones will be working a bit extra this season with the plethora of veterans that they’ve signed to keep them healthy but he’s done a superb job, especially with being tasked keeping the aging, yet effective CP3 healthy.
Signed to a four-year, $80 million deal just three seasons ago, Anderson was traded to the Phoenix Suns last season along with prospect hopeful De’Anthony Melton to receive Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss. We all know how that trade turned out but it’s good to know we’ve got Ryno back in the fold.
He probably still would’ve been a member of the Houston Rockets had it not been for his contract outpacing the value of what he provided out on the court. Three seasons ago, Morey took a gamble and threw the money at Anderson with a bet that the salary cap would continue to escalate but it hasn’t grown at the rate that executives have expected.
There have only been modest increases in spending year-over-year so teams have to make tough decisions in trying to rid themselves of bad contracts to remain in contention.
Anderson spent time last season not only with the Suns but then was traded at last season’s February deadline to the Miami Heat. He did not appear all that much and the writing was on the
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wall that this season’s contract — his last of his massive deal — would be bought out and stretched.
It certainly was and now he’ll be making about $5M per season for the next three seasons and he’s free to sign with another team.
The Houston Rockets were obviously keeping an eye on this so they’ve brought him in for a minimum-salary contract — $2.6M or so — and they’ll have a reliable three-point shooter that can rebound off the bench. Don’t rely on the numbers from last season, he didn’t play all that much and he had little time to get into a rhythm. Since he’ll be back here, I think Mike D’Antoni will give him enough time per night to be effective.
We know his defensive prowess isn’t his strongest suit but as the team has done in the past, they work to suit the strengths as I’ve mentioned. Anderson is familiar with the system so he’s obviously a great fit for the team right off the bat.
I think he’ll be a valuable contributor in this reboot and I’m actually glad to see him back.
Let’s hope for the best — go Houston Rockets!
Anderson, 31, averaged 2.5 points and 2.2 rebounds with a shooting line of .304/.225/.750 through 25 games in 2018-19 with the Suns and Heat.