Southeast Missouri State freshman Tony Anderson intends to enter the 2016 NBA Draft, Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com reports. “This was the plan before I got to college,” Anderson told Goodman. “I don’t plan on playing college basketball again. I know it’s a rare situation, but my goal is to play in the NBA.” The league’s new rules allow underclassmen to again “test the waters” and take part in the NBA combine while still maintaining their college eligibility should they decide to withdraw from the draft. But it appears Anderson is set on leaving school, telling Goodman he has already withdrawn from classes and intends to hire an agent. The power forward did note that he hasn’t spoken with any potential representatives yet, the scribe adds. “I’m taking the process slow of getting an agent,” Anderson said. “I’m letting God lead me in that.”
If Anderson does hire an agent he won’t have the option to return to school, which could prove problematic if he goes undrafted in June, an outcome that is a distinct possibility, according to several NBA executives Goodman spoke with about the player. “He needs to go back to school,” one executive told Goodman. “With his numbers — on that team — he doesn’t have a chance.” The 18-year-old only notched 4.8 points and 2.3 rebounds in 14.9 minutes per contest this season.
Here’s more from around the league:
- If LeBron James can return to Cleveland and be embraced by the fans, the possibility exists that the same could happen for Dwight Howard in Orlando, Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel posits. The scribe notes that a reunion, while improbable, has the potential to benefit both sides. Returning to a star-hungry Magic squad would allow Howard to be the primary option once again on offense, while Orlando would land itself an upper-tier player who could help attract other free agents, Schmitz adds. Howard’s firing of agent Dan Fegan could also help make a reunion happen, as Fegan’s relationship with the team was a contentious one, Schmitz also notes. The Rockets center is widely expected to turn down his player option and hit free agency this summer.
- The Mavericks believe they will be better off in the long run having allowed Monta Ellis to depart as a free agent and adding Wesley Matthews in his stead, despite Matthews not yet providing the same production Ellis did during his two-year stint in Dallas, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes. Coach Rick Carlisle did note that he was pleased with Ellis’ play for the team and added that salary cap constraints factored heavily into the decision to not pursue the shooting guard last summer, Sefko relays.
- The Suns, Nets, Wizards and Pelicans all saw disabled player exceptions expire Thursday, the leaguewide deadline to use them. Phoenix’s was worth $5.464MM to offset Eric Bledsoe‘s injury, Brooklyn had one worth $3.1MM for Jarrett Jack, Washington’s came in at $2,806,750 for Martell Webster, and New Orleans had one for $1,691,012 because of Quincy Pondexter‘s injury.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.