After completing a puzzling trade in order to clear cap space, its rumored that the Sacramento Kings could pursue a trade for Ryan Anderson of the Houston Rockets.
In July of 2016, the Rockets signed Ryan Anderson to a four-year, $80 million contract. With the salary cap expected to rise in future seasons, teams were handing out money left and right in the summer of 2016.
Unfortunately, Houston soon figured out that they overpaid for Anderson. Last summer, the Rockets tried to find a trade partner for Ryno in order to complete a deal with the Knicks for Carmelo Anthony. They failed to reach any agreements and the Knicks grew more impatient with each passing day. New York eventually traded Anthony to the Thunder and Anderson returned to Houston for another year.
Anderson’s game took a step back last season. He averaged just 9.3 points per game, marking his lowest scoring output since the 2009-10 season. Anderson eventually lost his starting spot to P.J. Tucker, who excelled in Houston’s switch heavy defensive scheme.
Ryan Anderson’s role slowly diminished as the season progressed. In the Western Conference Finals, Anderson’s lack of lateral quickness made him unplayable against the talented perimeter players of Golden State. Anderson averaged just 5.7 minutes over five games in the conference finals and he failed to score a single point.
The Rockets can’t continue to pay Anderson $20 million a year if he can’t contribute when they need him the most. Houston has to find a team that is willing to take a salary dump in the offseason, and the Sacramento Kings might be the perfect franchise.
The Kings are clearing cap space
A few weeks ago, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said that the Kings are willing to “take on bad salary and extract draft picks as the price.” Furthermore, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Conner explained a possible reason the Kings cleared $20.5 million (h/t Bryan Kalbrosky of Hoops Hype).
“It opens up cap space for the Kings where now they have $20.5 million in cap space and that’s notable. Because I’ve recently heard … Houston would be looking for a team to dump Ryan Anderson on that could ease the path to sign Carmelo Anthony.”
Also, its worth mentioning that Anderson was born in, you guessed it, Sacramento, California. The Kings are a match made in heaven for the Rockets. Houston can send Anderson to his hometown and they’ll have his bloated contract off of the books.
In that case, Houston will have more cap room in order to sign Carmelo Anthony and Ryan Anderson will get a lot more playing time on the team he grew up watching. Everyone wins.