The Houston Rockets have agreed to a partially guaranteed contract with former Rockets forward Ryan Anderson, who played for the team from 2016-2018.
The reunion of Ryan Anderson and the Houston Rockets is an intriguing one, as the last time Anderson was in H-Town, he was essentially unable to contribute by his second season. This is ultimately why he fell out of Mike D’Antoni‘s rotation. Anderson is certainly not known for his defense, however, he brings 3-point shooting, as he’s a career 38 percent shooter from deep. Knowing the Rockets’ knack for the long ball, he should at least be able to contribute in that area right away.
If Anderson makes the roster, that would essentially mean another year in the G-League for Gary Clark, who is on the bubble heading into his second season. It would also mean the newly signed Anthony Bennett would likely not make the roster either. Bennett was hoping to use this season as an opportunity to resurrect his career in the NBA. Above all else, signing Ryan would mean prioritization of offense over defense for a Rockets team that ranked second in the league in offensive rating with a rating of 115.5.
Anderson does fit a position of need for the Rockets, as they’re lacking at the forward position, which is evidenced by PJ Tucker playing 34.2 minutes per game last season. Anderson could also play in a small ball lineup as a center, which would help the Rockets, who are light on taller options on the roster.
When Ryno is on the floor, defense and defensive rebounding becomes a concern. However, the addition of Russell Westbrook helps in that area, as Russ has finished inside the top five in defensive rebounds per game in two of the last three years. Despite the gaps on the defensive side of the floor, Ryno’s presence means great spacing on the offensive end.
It seems almost automatic that Ryno will make the roster based on the reports of him receiving a “significantly partially guaranteed deal” as phrased by Shams Charania of The Athletic. Rockets Insider Alykhan Bijani broke down the terms even further on Friday morning on Twitter:
Sources tell me and @KellyIkoNBA that
Ryan Anderson’s ‘partial guarantee’ is $250K now and another $250K on opening night.
— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) September 27, 2019
This is a big deal because the Rockets are currently in the luxury tax and wouldn’t agree to any guaranteed salary if they didn’t plan on keeping Anderson over the course of the year. For instance, Anthony Bennett was signed to a fully non-guaranteed deal, which is entirely the opposite of Anderson’s contract.
The real question is the number of minutes Anderson will play, as PJ Tucker plays a ton of minutes, but Anderson’s presence could allow Tucker to rest. If Ryno is played at the center spot, it could allow Tyson Chandler to keep his minutes limited and reduced, which could prove to be pivotal if Isaiah Hartenstein doesn’t make the roster.
Consider the small amount Ryan is being guaranteed, the question of him making the final roster will depend on how well he does in training camp, which begins on Saturday.