Houston Rockets: Ryan Anderson could play at center this season

Houston Rockets Ryan Anderson (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Ryan Anderson (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets certainly made a splash with their moves this summer, but the one that not enough people are talking about is the signing of big man Ryan Anderson.

The Houston Rockets made a splash this summer with the blockbuster trade executed to bring Russell Westbrook to Houston. They also signed veteran players in Tyson Chandler and Thabo Sefolosha. However, they made a signing a few weeks ago that flew under a lot of radars. On Sept. 25, the Rockets signed Ryan Anderson to a significantly partially guaranteed deal.

Many folks who think of this as an insignificant move are missing the bigger picture. In today’s NBA, you can simply never have too many shooters. The Houston Rockets have two of the best penetrators in the game today, so spacing is going to be of the utmost importance throughout the season.

For his career, Anderson is a career 38.0 percent shooter from behind the 3-point line. Ryan was traded away in 2018, but he played a significant role for the Rockets during his two-year stint. His best year came during the 2016-17 season when he recorded 13.6 points and 4.6 rebounds on 40 percent shooting from deep in 72 plus games.

In a piece written by the awesome Jonathan Feigen from the Houston Chronicle, there are early signs that the Rockets will look to utilize Ryan as a center for this roster. Anderson indicates that he would be more than open to whatever role the team needs him to play for this season.

“It’s definitely a role we talked about here. I think it’s something I can be really effective at. This team can play in a lot of different ways. I think center could be a good title now”.

The Houston Rockets’ primary backup center will be Tyson Chandler, but there are going to be games, like  on the tail end of a back-to-back, where he will not play. Coach Mike D’Antoni touched on the idea of Ryno filling into that role in his absence.

“I think we can look at that. Tyson probably some back-to-backs won’t play. So there’s some playing time there. Some we just want to go small, although he is a big ( at 6-10 ). We’ll look at that.”

There is one lineup that would work best and would allow Anderson to be most effective. A lineup that would consist of James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson, and P.J. Tucker. When you examine the best lineups for this roster, Russ and Harden will always be included. The inclusion of Tucker is due to his ability to drain the corner 3-pointer. Eric Gordon is great at driving to the hoop, with the potential to kick out to an open teammate. The only downfall to this lineup is the ability to rebound the ball, as they would be fairly small across the board with this group on the floor.

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People tend to forget that Ryno is a close friend of Eric Gordon (a closeness that started from their team with New Orleans). He is a great locker room guy as well. If the team can make him feel comfortable, and put him in positions to succeed, he could certainly be in line for career renaissance in the 2019-2020 season.