“The Toronto Raptors have signed G/F, Alan Anderson from the NBA D-League.” This isn’t exactly big time news that would hit the front page. Alan was first signed near the end of the 2011-2012 season, all because of injuries. Anderson was given an opportunity to show his game to an NBA team. After being undrafted back in 2005, he had a quick tenure with the Charlotte Bobcats, and went through years of travelling all over the world to play basketball with teams like VidiVici Bologna, Triump Lyubertsy, Cibona Zagreb, Maccabi Tel Aviv, and Regal Barcelona. After a successful stint with the Raps at the end of the 2011-12 season, Bryan Colangelo decided to bring him back for another year as a role player, where he averaged a career high of 10.7 points per game on inefficient shooting at around 39%.
The question with Alan Anderson is, should he be resigned for next season?
Anderson is very, very inconsistent. Players like him, are known to be streaky shooters, but Anderson, is just a straight up streaky player. Anderson will have major spurts of offence in some games, he’ll be able to shoot a team back into the game, or help the team keep or gain a significant lead. An example, was his 19 point performance against the Memphis Grizzlies, where he was able to explode in the 4th quarter, with 4 straight 3’s, to bring the team back within striking distance. But an example of his inconsistency, were the next three games after against the New York Knicks, the Washington Wizards, and the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he scored 4 points in all the contests, and was incredibly inefficient, shooting 18% from the field. Long story short, one game Anderson will be 7-9 from the field with a solid 16 points per say, and the next game, he’ll go 2-9 with 4 points.
Anderson is also a visibly selfish player. Whilst he is a very confident player, and definitely a competitor, he more often than not forgets that he has teammates on the floor. A number that might be able to measure his selfish play, is the inefficient shooting. This season, he averaged a poor 38% from the field, and an average 33% from 3. Anderson took 616 shots, compared to DeMar DeRozan‘s 1,231 shots, and Rudy Gay‘s 1,253, all in 23 minutes (Rudy – 35.8 minutes, DeMar – 36.7). Taking half the shots the main scorers took in much less time is very questionable.
Anderson provides a good number of positives though, such as his defensive abilities, especially against elite offensive players. Throughout the season, Anderson has been one of Coach Dwane Casey‘s main options to slow down opposing scorers, and this is why Casey relied on him quite often. Anderson doesn’t rank necessarily high on the advanced defensive statistics (0.97 defensive stats, 0.72 steals, 0.11 blocks, 0.14 charges), but from the eye test, he certainly does his job in keeping his man in front, and making his match-up work hard for every single thing on the offensive end. He’s been given the tasks of trying to guard big time scorers and players, such as Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, and more.
AA is also a very skilled player. He has the ability to stretch the floor from the perimeter, can come off the dribble (think about that jab step and drive), and create with his back to the basket. While he does shoot fairly bad from the field, he shoots a capable 33% from the perimeter, 85% from the free throw line, and also averaged a career high in points with 10.7 a game.
Anderson’s basketball game-play might not even be his biggest positive, it might actually be his experience. Like mentioned above, he travelled around the world to play basketball after not being drafted, playing few games for the Charlotte Bobcats, moving to new places, learning new cultures, just to earn a pay-cheque. Moving to new places, having to scratch, claw, and earn every single thing to get to where an individual wants, humbles them. It’s an experience in itself, and when he first arrived back into the NBA to join the Raptors, it was obvious. He plays with grit, he plays with confidence, and if someone were in a bar fight, he is the type of person right in between of things. Not to mention the dynamic duo of him and Quincy Acy jumping on the bench every time an exciting Raptor play happens – it’s evident Anderson is a great locker room guy.
So now, let’s ask again, should the Toronto Raptors re-sign Alan Anderson?
Yes. BUT, there are things that should be considered.
If Alan is put in the proper role, if Alan is asked to be a perimeter shooter, and a defensive option, if Alan is playing the right amount of minutes and not cutting into the development of Terrence Ross, if he isn’t taking the minutes from the core wings in DeRozan and Gay, and if he isn’t asked to be a number one option on the offensive end, than yes, re-sign him. Him as the 4th or 5th wing off the bench, and used in times of need, such as guarding an elite player, or floor spacing, all within 10-15 minutes, is a great asset for this team, also considering he won’t be heavily paid big bucks.
But, if Anderson is going to be asked to play heavy minutes, be a top option offensively, finish games consistently, and be that third wing in the rotation, or the sixth man, than he should not be retained. In other words, if we are going to see a repeat of last year, please don’t bring him back. However, I blame Dwane Casey for that more than anything.
To finish this whole Anderson thing, he’s one of those cheap, inexpensive players where a team will have to take the good with the bad. He’s definitely a player the Raptors should consider re-signing, but only as long as he isn’t treated or allowed to play like a star player. Whatever side of the fence you are on, regardless, he’s a player that can add a good number of positives for a team, especially for the Raptors. Toughness, experience, shooting, defence, and low price are now at a premium in the league today.