A source within an NBA team told Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times and Basketball Insiders that he expects Ryan Anderson will be able to command a maximum-salary contract this summer (Twitter link). The Pelicans are willing to consider trading Anderson for Markieff Morris, especially if Anderson indicates he doesn’t want to sign a new deal with the Pelicans, as Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported earlier today. Pincus’ source, who isn’t with one of the Los Angeles teams, cited the 2016 free agent market, which isn’t particularly strong past the top few names.
Anderson is making $8.5MM in the final season of his contract. He’ll be a veteran of eight years by this summer, so he’d be eligible for the middle-tier max of a projected $24.9MM. New Orleans, which has his Bird rights to exceed the cap to re-sign him, already has more than $63.8MM in guaranteed salary for next season, as Pincus notes, so a new max deal for Anderson would make it difficult for the team to open significant cap room. Phoenix has about $60MM in guaranteed salary for 2016/17, including $7.4MM for Morris.
Two executives recently told Sean Deveney of The Sporting News that Rajon Rondo is in play for a max deal next summer, just one year after he signed a one-year, $9.5MM contract with Sacramento. Those executives cautioned that it’s not a certainty, particularly with so much of the season remaining, and that’s likely the case with Anderson, too. Driving such talk about lucrative deals is the rising cap, projected to surge to $89MM with many reportedly believing it’ll go as high as $95MM. It will leave many teams with max-level cap flexibility to either retain their own players or pay a premium to nab free agents from others.
How much do you think Anderson should see on his next deal? Leave a comment to tell us.