Just one season into his 4-year, $80 million contract, should the Rockets try to trade the ultimate stretch four?
Ryan Anderson proved to be a valuable player for the Rockets during the regular season. However, once the postseason came he was rendered almost useless. Can Anderson turn around his issues or should the Rockets explore opportunities to trade the big man? Let’s look at both sides of the argument.
The Rockets should keep Anderson
There are a few reasons why the Rockets should keep Ryan Anderson. The stretch big is a perfect floor spacer for the team, even when his shot is off the mark. His prior history of 3-point shooting makes him necessary to guard, which opens up the floor for James Harden to attack. He is also sure to bounce back from his poor playoff performance and become the threat he has always been in the league. During the regular season, he proved to be one of the best stretch fours in the game, so would trading him come back to bite the Rockets?
The Rockets should trade Anderson
The reasons to trade Ryan Anderson seem to outnumber the reasons to keep him. First off, Ryan Anderson is a truly bad defensive player. He is a large part of the reason that the Rockets allowed the most points in the paint per game this season. The team needs a stretch big, but one that also plays good defense. He is also very inconsistent with his shot. This fact especially hurt the Rockets in the playoffs where it was not worth playing him at times. When his shot is off, his bad defense makes him unusable. There also exists his troubles at home. His home and road splits are remarkable as he shot 47% away from Toyota Center and 33% at home. These inexplicable numbers do not fare well for his future in Houston.
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Finally, his contract will hurt the Rockets this offseason if they do not trade him. The team is spending $20 million a year for Anderson to be an inconsistent, defensive liability. That money can be used to sign a second star to pair with Harden that can stretch the floor and play on the other side of the court. I can understand if the organization decides to keep Ryan for the second year of his contract and see if he improves, but the best decision for the Rockets may be to trade him as soon as possible.
*All stats via Basketball-Reference*