Houston Rockets waive sharpshooter Ryan Anderson

Ryan Anderson #33 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ryan Anderson #33 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets have decided to cut ties with big man Ryan Anderson, who hasn’t played in over two weeks.

Ryan Anderson’s second stint with the Houston Rockets ended sooner than expected.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Houston Rockets have waived Ryan Anderson, the 31-year-old sharpshooter.

Back in the summer of 2016, when NBA teams were handing out massive contracts like candy, the Rockets signed Anderson to a four-year, $80 million deal. Anderson was solid in the first year after his contract, averaging 13.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. However, he didn’t put up the  type of numbers teams typically expect from a player making $20 million a year.

Before the start of the 2017-18 season, the Rockets added Chris Paul, P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute and became an even bigger force in the west. As the season went on, Mike D’Antoni favored Tucker’s hard-nosed defense and versatility. Eventually, Tucker took Anderson’s starting spot at power forward.

The Rockets traded Anderson to the Phoenix Suns in 2018, where the 12-year veteran played just 15 games before playing an additional 10 games with the Miami Heat later in the 2018-19 season.

The Rockets brought Anderson back to Houston in September of 2019 on a non-guaranteed deal. In order to compensate for Anderson’s lack of quickness on defense, the Rockets planned to play him at center instead of power forward.

Unfortunately, Anderson never played any meaningful minutes for the Rockets this season. He scored three points in just four minutes in a win against the Washington Wizards on Oct. 30 and he scored two points in just under 10 minutes in a blowout loss to the Miami Heat on Nov. 3.

Anderson will finish the season with Houston averaging 2.5 points and 3.5 rebounds on 28.6 percent shooting from the field and 20 percent shooting from 3-point range.

D’Antoni’s decision to not play Anderson after Clint Capela missed two consecutive games was likely the nail in the coffin for Anderson’s second tenure in Houston. Clint Capela is probable for Monday’s game against the Trail Blazers, and both Tyson Chandler and Isaiah Hartenstein have been viable options at center for the Rockets. Mike D’Antoni also likes to go small and play P.J. Tucker at center and Nene will eventually return later this season.

Ryan Anderson is essentially a fourth option at center for the Rockets and would likely have been a fifth option once Nene returns, so it didn’t make much sense to keep him around.

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The Rockets have now opened up an additional roster spot, so you’d have to assume the team will use it to either sign a free agent or sign Chris Clemons, who is on a two-way contract, for the rest of the season.