Atlanta Hawks: Free agent James Anderson gets camp invite

Hawks GM Danny Ferry says Spurs free agent James Anderson has been invited to join the team’s veterans camp. Anderson apparently will accept, according to a tweet by former teammate Danny Green.

Anderson, 23, likely will join the Hawks on a summer contract. If it proves to be a good fit for team and player, Anderson would be signed to the roster on a non-guaranteed contract to fill the defensive-minded wing role Ferry is seeking (though it’s notable that Anderson has played most of his minutes at shooting guard).

Anderson, San Antonio’s first-round pick in the 2010 draft, has played just 889 total minutes in two seasons. During that limited time his offensive production and efficiency have been bad. Anderson’s defensive on-court, off-court and opponent PER have been positive but his Synergy defensive stats have been poor, especially in isolation.

All of that comes with the usual Small Sample Size Disclaimer. Obviously Ferry, who saw Anderson up close as a Spurs executive, believes Anderson has potential. Anderson was a very good offensive player at Oklahoma State, as Michael Kamalsky noted at DraftExpress.com before the 2010 draft:

James Anderson was nothing short of spectacular last season, and it shows here. His 1.07 overall PPP ranks second amongst all players, as do his 20 possessions used per-game. He was above the PPP every in every situation except for guarded catch and shoot situations, and has more experience running the pick and roll (2.9 Pos/G) than any other player on our rankings. High usage/high-efficiency players are extremely difficult to come by, and NBA teams may want to ponder if they’re missing the boat on Anderson due to the fact that he has not been spectacular in workouts. The same thing happened last year with Marcus Thornton.

Michael A. De Leon, writing for Project Spurs, says Anderson is a good pick up for Ferry:

The Hawks, who could use some help at shooting guard with the loss of Joe Johnson, could be making quite the sleeper move here. Anderson is a capable scorer and slasher and at times showed signs of improving on the defensive end, but he lost his confidence with the Spurs after he failed to make an impression on the coaching staff when he stepped in for Manu [Ginobili] against Golden State last season.

Anderson had been the sixth or seventh man off the bench and when the Spurs started Green after Anderson’s [disappointing] performance, Anderson’s time on the floor began going downhill and at times didn’t come off the bench at all.

Clearly the Hawks could use more help at small forward than at shooting guard. If Anderson can play the wing and prove to be a competent offensive player and reliable defender, he could earn a job and a role with the Hawks.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat
Follow @ajchawks on Twitter.

194 comments Add your comment

Neon Cowboy

August 27th, 2012
12:59 pm

First for the hell of it.

Macaroni Tony

August 27th, 2012
1:03 pm

that’s good, Let’s go Hawks.

CrimeWire

August 27th, 2012
1:04 pm

Typo?

“If it proves to be a good fit for team and player, Green would be signed”

Did you mean “Anderson would be signed”?

Neon Cowboy

August 27th, 2012
1:06 pm

I like the pickup…Hopefully he’ll be able to show his skills…GO HAWKS!

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

August 27th, 2012
1:08 pm

*Yawn* *Yawn* *Yawn*

Michael Cunningham

August 27th, 2012
1:09 pm

@CrimeWire: “Typo?”

more like brainlock. fixed.

ryan

August 27th, 2012
1:26 pm

With D12 off the market Hawks news is boring with these mega teams LA , NY , Miami NBA just is not that interesting anymore looking forward to college football and NFL .

ignition

August 27th, 2012
1:30 pm

Apparently this guy is a shooting guard, who can’t shoot..
And is a mediocre defender…
So why bother ??

rainman34

August 27th, 2012
1:34 pm

He was a great shooter in college not sure what happened.

Glenn

August 27th, 2012
1:38 pm

The Hawks need a big; they seem to be getting right back into a rut of going heavy on one group of players and ignoring the rest to the detriment of the team. You have five guys on the court at the same time, and at least half the time they’ll be playing defense if the Hawks play “small ball”.

Priest Lauderdale

August 27th, 2012
1:38 pm

YESSSSSS!!!!!!!!!

joshua

August 27th, 2012
1:44 pm

@rainman34 as a coach myself. College is way different to pro. I’ve played both. You can’t really expect every college player that plays well to move to pro and continue the susses.

The Truth

August 27th, 2012
1:56 pm

“Hawks GM Danny Ferry says Spurs free agent James Anderson has been invited to join the team’s veterans camp”

Danny has gone from pursuing players like:

Rashard Lewis – 6′-10″ SF
Anthony Randolph – 6′-11″ SF

Presumably seeking a long SF, to inviting a struggling James Anderson – 6′-6″ SG to fill that position. It begs the questions:

Is Danny selling out this season? Does LD really have a fair shot at renewing his contract when 50% of the Hawks roster is made-up with 6′-6″ and under guards?

Heisenberg

August 27th, 2012
2:04 pm

Sam

August 27th, 2012
2:05 pm

Great signing. I remember when he got drafted by the Spurs. I was hopng the Hawks would draft him with their pick. If I remember correctly, he was a bit of a slasher coming out of college. I can’t remember what kinda jumper he had.

Ra'mon

August 27th, 2012
2:05 pm

The Truth, Ferry hasn’t sold out anything. He hasn’t given a contract. He’s basically just extended a chance for someone to TRYOUT for the team. What is wrong with that? And I’m confident there will be more moves made before the season starts.

tyger

August 27th, 2012
2:09 pm

I’ve heard good things of James Anderson…
A good player needing an opportunity…
we have young length in F, Keith Benson…

Deshawn Stevenson is a good defensive piece…

Spurs make living capitalizing on sleepers like this…
Very confident in Ferry’s ability to pick the 12th,13th man…

glw

August 27th, 2012
2:14 pm

Anderson is a good pickup especially since its on a non guaranteed deal, which means he is still likely to go out and get a more established veteran too.

Hoopshype is reporiting that Anthony Tolliver is interested in Atlanta and the feeling is mutual.

Grimey

August 27th, 2012
2:37 pm

Glad were giving this kid a shot, he maybe can gel with our type of offense. Looking forward to atlanta having their own bench mob

Grimey

August 27th, 2012
2:39 pm

Keith Benson and Anthony tolliver can get a camp invite as well

O'Brien

August 27th, 2012
2:39 pm

I remember while at OU, he was referred to as Big game James, because he made big shots. And if we were looking for SG help, I would be more in favor of it. But he is a 6’6” SG, who (imo) is better suited on offense instead of defense. But given his price, I can understand Ferry wanting to try him out (especially since he has seen him up close and personal with the Spurs).

However, I would prefer someone who has played mostly SF, and is 6’7” and above.

steve brown

August 27th, 2012
2:40 pm

Watch Anderson’s college highlights at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2Vf98a3lEQ
and you will get excited. Hopefully was just a bad fit with the Spurs. One would think Ferry knows.

Grimey

August 27th, 2012
2:44 pm

I think ferry does know better than us i mean he drafted this guy didnt he? Ill expect big from big game james SG/SF hybrid, he looks like he can be a great role player with the 2nd or 3rd unit

O'Brien

August 27th, 2012
2:49 pm

FTPB,

Ms Dee,

I’m not sure who #2 is, but imo, the top 4 centers in the East (off the top of my head) are Bynum, Hibbert, Noah, and Horford.

Ra'mon

August 27th, 2012
2:54 pm

According to Hoopshype, Anthony Tolliver is really liking Atlanta.

The Truth

August 27th, 2012
2:55 pm

“The Truth, Ferry hasn’t sold out anything. He hasn’t given a contract. He’s basically just extended a chance for someone to TRYOUT for the team. What is wrong with that? And I’m confident there will be more moves made before the season starts”

Ra’mon

I just beg the questions. I certainly don’t have any insight as to what Danny is doing or really thinking. But his actions solicited that response especially given how his roster is made up. But apparently I’m not alone in this observation of the Hawks roster:

“Free-agent Anthony Tolliver said he’s intrigued by Atlanta, a team that has great interest in him. “I don’t think they have a guy on their roster with that skill set with shooting and versatility,’’ Tolliver said about being a big man who can step out on the floor.” – hoopshype

Albeit Tolliver is listed as a 6′-8″ center and a SF, even he can see shortcomings on the roster. But at least Danny is talking to him and hopefully others. Danny non-guaranteed contract requirement really limits his options. It suggests this hunt for quality will yield very little. Hopefully I am wrong.

We Shall See

The Truth

August 27th, 2012
2:58 pm

“Albeit Tolliver is listed as a 6′-8″ center and not a SF”

SteveW

August 27th, 2012
2:59 pm

I’ve been advocating obtaining Anthony Tolliver for a few years now – I think he may have been in DLeague a few years back or something when I first noticed his skill set – maybe GSW’s – can’t remember.

The dude is listed as a 4, but I think he can give some quality backup minutes at the 3 – he’s got a jumper that can be deadly. Good size also.

If we got Tolliver – we’d probably be giving up on either Scott or Jordan Williams.

MsDee

August 27th, 2012
3:00 pm

OB,

That’s easy, ITS HORFORD!! Trust me, after this season, its him!! Like I wrote before in another blog, Horford will surprise alot of his haters on here. They say he has no post moves to be a great center even tho he plays good defense and rebounds well.(Oh and for those about to say he plays no good defense, well maybe because Drew would take him out in a blink of an eye if he picks up 1 foul towards the end of 1st quarter. Horford was afraid he would be bench if he picked up another one). But back to what I was saying..who NEEDS great post moves when u have excellent passers in Josh AND Harris on your team? Horford KNOWS how to finish around the basket, he has a great 15-18fter, and is pretty good at the FT line. With JJ gone and now great outside shooters on the team, it will leave Horford open more than every b4, him and Josh! So im not worried about Horford, DUDE WILL BE ‘BOSS AL’ THIS SEASON, MARK MY WORDS!! HIS JERSEY WILL BE MINES THIS SEASON!!

SteveW

August 27th, 2012
3:00 pm

OB – I wouldn’t leave Greg Monroe out of that discussion – I’m not sure he’s not 2nd right now behind Bynum – and the cat is only 22 years old or something.

I take Monroe over Hibbert or Noah all day long…

Melvin

August 27th, 2012
3:00 pm

This would be a good camp invite. This guy has the NBA skills set to play on the wing. At 6′6 ,he’s the same height as Iggy and no one complain about him being too small to play SF. Heck, Paul Peirce is 6′7. Outside of Lebron, Durant and Melo (which these guys play alot of PF), there aren’t too many other SFs that take advantage of their height in the paint.

MsDee

August 27th, 2012
3:04 pm

And with Drew on the chopping line, Horford wont have to worry about that any longer. He will be comfortable and confident in playing solid defense on a regular basis sense Drew will HAVE to behave!

drmaryb .("_*).

August 27th, 2012
3:08 pm

We’re all excited about more losers added to the roster! THRILLED!!

SteveW

August 27th, 2012
3:09 pm

And I think Josh (turns 27 Dec. 5th) and Al at age 26 are going to shock some people in the ATL and the NBA this season.

Did anybody see Josh play last season? The dude was a beast – a mini LeBron type beast. Offense, smarts, passing and assists, blocks and steals – the dude was a 5 tool beast. Tough as nails.

Ya’ll know I’ve been critical of Josh’s complaining, taking too many plays off, sulking, stupid passes and J’s in years gone by.

But last years Josh, while still having some of those traits – especially the J’s and dumb passes on the break – the guy definitely stepped up his game to another level.

While I liked JJ – Josh was clearly the best player on the team last season. Probably top 20 in the NBA, and could move into the top 15 this season, with Dirk, PP, Garnett, Gasol and those types getting old.

Josh even played the 5 spot a couple of times – and did great there.

I ain’t worried about Josh carrying his load no matter where we play him, PF, SF – the guys a player – he may be the best Hawk since JJ in his prime.

He’s close to being the best Hawk since Dominique and Kevin Willis (people forget he was a beast as well).

SteveW

August 27th, 2012
3:11 pm

Josh moved past Mookie, Steve Smith, and Dikembe last season too me. Liked all of those guys also also being a Hawks fan.

And you could argue the Dikembe point, but I digress.

SteveW

August 27th, 2012
3:13 pm

I think 6-6 220 is plenty big enough to play the 3 in the NBA on most nights.

I’d like to see us give Morrow a shot there also. He’s 6-5.5 w/o shoes, and weighs around 220

SteveW

August 27th, 2012
3:19 pm

Kevin Willis – He had a 18.3 ppg and 15.6 rpg season for us, and a couple more 12+ rpg seasons – averaged 19.1 ppg one season also.

That guy would be getting max type money if he were around today.

glw

August 27th, 2012
3:33 pm

I think if Tolliver is signed, he is a combo forward, maybe we use him more against the physical 3’s like Lebron and Carmelo of the league.

D Stevenson is tired of yall saying he aint got offensive skills. He working on his handle and his trey game.

http://iamagm.com/article/video-deshawn-stevenson-acting-like-a-_______-at-an-orlando-proam-game#.UDvA0Yl5mc0

Big Ump

August 27th, 2012
3:44 pm

drmaryb

Good to hear from you. How everything?

Astro Joe

August 27th, 2012
3:48 pm

UGH, we have now reached the level of suggesting that someone can help us based solely on his height and weight.

Please, let July, 2013 come soon.

Tokyo Tom

August 27th, 2012
3:48 pm

Ms. Dee has it right- a healthy Al and more mature Josh (Team MVP last year, playing for a contract this year) will be awesome down low, and Teague & Harris in the backcourt, the team is coming together. Still would like to see who is at SF and how 2nd team rotation will look behind Zaza but plenty of playoff potential this year.

Regarding the best center in the east- Bynum gets the NYC pub, Garnett the old guy love but, with Howard gone, I can certainly see where Horford could be best of the class this year. Go get ‘em Al!

Astro Joe

August 27th, 2012
3:51 pm

After we add Anderson, we should try and sign Patrick O’Bryant, David Harrison or Solomon Alabi. They are all good sized individuals.

Has Darius Miles been out of the league long enough for him to get a chance to rehab his career as our SF? How about Tim Thomas?

Astro Joe

August 27th, 2012
3:54 pm

The Anderson camp invite likely ends the Pape Sy era once and for all.

O'Brien

August 27th, 2012
4:01 pm

Melvin,

The difference (imo) is Iggy, Pierce etc has played most of his career as a SF. James has played most of his as a SG. So even if we get a 6′6″ guy as our SF, I would prefer it to be someone who has played mostly at SF.

AJ,

At 7′0″, 250 lbs, I think Harrison would be a good fit because he is the perfect size and weight to be a center…especially if he can beat out Petro, who is only 7′, 247 lbs :smile:

PGS

August 27th, 2012
4:07 pm

Done my research

At 6′5.75 ,he’s 1 inch shorter than Andre “Iggy” Iguodala.
Worse his wingspan length is firmly in guard status at 6′ 8.5″. That’s just an inch more than Jeff Teague the point ‘guard’.

Paul Peirce by comparison is an inch taller at 6′7 with at least a 20 lb (230+ to Anderson’s 208 -210 lbs).
Outside of Josh, the Hawks don’t have a counter to Pierce, Lebron, Durant and Melo, guys who are matchup nightmares at SF/PF and abuse guards. And Anderson certainly is not anything but a red ‘carpet’ for these guys as evidenced by his defensive stats and diminutive nature.

This would be a bad camp invite and I think Mr. Danny Ferry might be reaching on account of liking smart players who can shoot. But he has been a bad shooter and he cant defend, as evidenced by having a worse defensive rating than Tony Parker his rookie season, 10 points worse than the leader, Tim Duncan. His 2nd year it was more of the same on less minutes.

For comp, Jamal “the SIEVE*” Crawford was only 9 points worse (both years) than our leader in defense efficiency, Josh Smith (* wink at Rod from CP)

I dont think its an issue where defending bigger stronger guys will help Andersen. It could help but at this point I’d have to question what Ferry is doing though.

O'Brien

August 27th, 2012
4:13 pm

At 6′7″, 210 lbs, Sy wasn’t big enough to play SF anyway :smile:

PGS

August 27th, 2012
4:14 pm

Regarding the best center in the east- Bynum gets the NYC pub, Garnett the old guy love but, with Howard gone, I can certainly see where* Horford could be best of the class this year. Go get ‘em Al!

* where being widespread under-performance and/or injuries, the latter of which is more likely

Lopez, Hibbert, Bynum, Monroe, Drummond

Im reachin on Drummond just because but come on, I would not be surprised to see the return of
Al “Ridin that AS Pine” Horford. I dont see how he gets in over healthy Bynum as a starter.

Also we forgot Tyson “Gold US Olympian+champ center” Chandler.

And if Garnett is considered a center now then just forget it. Maybe thats a good thing so Hawks can stop harshing on adding another PF/C big man to help Josh and Al. Like versatile banger Dejuan Blair. Or the banger Ezeli. Oops missed the last one.

The Truth

August 27th, 2012
4:18 pm

PGS

Nice info, certainly sheds light on the obvious

Astro Joe

August 27th, 2012
4:23 pm

OB, yeah, I almost said (in response to Anderson being the same size as Iggy, Pierce, etc.) that he is also about the same size as Pape Sy and Cedric Bozeman. But I decided not to go there.

Seriously, it is pretty rare that a team opts to cut a 1st round draft pick loose after only 2 years. And considering that a team with a terrific history of developing younger players did it, I wouldn’t exactly pencil this guy in as a rotation player just yet.

NORRIS CHUCK

August 27th, 2012
4:38 pm

Free-agent Anthony Tolliver said he’s intrigued by Atlanta, a team that has great interest in him. “I don’t think they have a guy on their roster with that skill set with shooting and versatility,’’ Tolliver said about being a big man who can step out on the floor.

When Tolliver was with Cleveland several years ago, Hawks GM Danny Ferry was the GM there. Tolliver also said he has a “really good relationship’’ with Wes Wilcox, then with Cleveland and now Hawks assistant GM. Sulia