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
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