Ryan Anderson sure has come a long way since his humble beginnings with the Nets in 2008. The Nets “reached” for the California product with the 21st overall pick in that year’s draft and plugged him in to the rotation of a weakened team that had recently jettisoned Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson. When it came time for the Nets to start their rebuilding effort in earnest and move Vince Carter, the Magic pushed to have Anderson included in the deal. The forward was more than a throw-in but far from the focal point of the five-player swap.
A few years and a sign-and-trade later, Anderson is shining in New Orleans as he breaks in his four-year, $36MM deal. So far this year, Anderson is averaging career-highs across the board with 17.5 PPG and 7.9 RPG while shooting 42.3% from the outside. The 24-year-old figures to be on the fast track to All-Star Weekend in Houston and the Lakers reportedly see him as the solution to their frontcourt problems. The Hornets are obviously a long way from contention and could net a nice package of young players and draft picks in exchange for last year’s Most Improved Player.
However, the Hornets say they have no interest in parting ways with Anderson. The club is enthused by his early season play and is eager to see how the team looks when Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon return to action. It’s hard to argue with that reasoning – this green (no pun intended) Hornets squad won’t get near the playoff chase this season but they certainly play the role of spoiler for other clubs late in the year. More importantly, the trio could blossom into a legitimate force with time.
If you were in General Manager Dell Demps‘ shoes, would you trade Anderson or hold on to him?