According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Houston Rockets and stretch-four Ryan Anderson have agreed to a four-year, $80 million contract. The dollar amount for this deal is rather compelling when you consider Anderson’s history of injuries, and how he’s mostly a one-trick pony.
Since coming into the league in 2008 with the New Jersey Nets, Anderson has played more than 66 games in a season once, and that was back in 2012-13. This most recent campaign with the Pelicans saw him featured in just 66 games, but he was one of the team’s most productive players when healthy. He averaged 17 points, and six rebounds per game while shooting 36.6 percent from three. Throughout his time in the NBA, Anderson has branded himself as one of the most consistent stretch-fours in the league — however, that’s only from downtown. When he averaged a career-best 19.8 points per game back in 2014, Anderson knocked in an incredible 40 percent of his threes. That season was cut short, however, and he played in just 22 games.
As an overall shooter, Anderson is noticeably weak from mid-range and is a reliable finisher around the basket, but not spectacular by any means and you can argue that he doesn’t convert as well as other 6-10 guys. For his career, he shoots just 42.3 percent from the field overall.
Defensively, Anderson is a liability. Last year, the Pelicans weren’t much better with him on the court, and the defensive rating per 100 featured a difference of just one point, according to Basketball-Reference. He’s not very athletic and has issues with lateral movement and explosiveness, resulting in quicker players getting by him and bigger plays backing him into the paint — for his career, Anderson averages .4 blocks per game.
With an average of $20 million annually, the Rockets did somewhat overpay for Anderson, but that’s nothing new this free agency. He fits in their system perfectly — high-percentage three-point shooter who’s a lackluster defender — and can step right into the role of the complimentary player to James Harden.