10 Worst free agent signings in Rockets history
1. Ryan Anderson
When the Houston Rockets agreed to terms with Ryan Anderson in the 2016 offseason, the instant reaction was that he was overpaid. Anderson was on a four-year deal worth $80 million, as NBA teams were handing out massive contracts, due to the salary cap spike.
The Rockets were coming off a dismal season, as they went 41-41 after firing then head coach Kevin McHale after just 11 games, barely making it into the playoffs as the eighth seed.
Rockets GM Daryl Morey knew the time was coming to blow it up, as the Dwight Howard experiment was coming to a close (Howard declined his player option and signed with the Atlanta Hawks). The Rockets hired Mike D’Antoni and signed sharpshooter Eric Gordon, along with Anderson, which led to 55 wins in the 2016-17 season, which was easily an overachievement.
Anderson played decent at the onset of his deal, averaging 13.6 points and 4.6 rebounds, but those were modest numbers for the amount of money the Rockets were paying him.
Anderson was expected to provide more than he was able to contribute, and was essentially deemed unplayable in the postseason by the second year of his deal, due in large part, to his defensive woes. Anderson averaged 8.6 minutes per contest in the 2017-18 postseason, as the Rockets started defensive ace P.J. Tucker.
When your third-highest-paid player is logging DNPs in the postseason, it's a surefire sign that it was a bad pickup. The Rockets ultimately traded Anderson before the third year of his contract to the Phoenix Suns, along with De'Anthony Melton, in return for Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss.