Six months ago, I wrote a story on Ryan Anderson, power forward for the Orlando Magic, who shined at Oak Ridge High and Cal before entering the NBA. The Magic were in Sacramento last January to play the Kings.
On Monday, the 6-foot-10 Anderson, a restricted free agent, visited with the Kings to explore his options. Last season, Anderson had one of his best seasons that earned him the NBA’s Most Improved Player after posting career-highs of 16.1 points and 7.7 rebounds while shooting 87 percent from the free throw line and nailing 39.3 percent of his three-pointers. He also played an average of 32.2 minutes per game.
The Kings need a perimeter shooter and for those remembering his Trojan days, Anderson can shoot it from behind the arc. So, the question becomes: Will Anderson return to the West Coast and fill more seats at Power Balance Pavilion, formerly known as Arco Arena?
Toward the end of last week, the Kings drafted Kansas power forward Thomas Robinson with their No. 5 overall pick. The Kings need another inside shooter and solid rebounder and Robinson seems to fit the bill as the former Jayhawk averaged 17.7 points per game and grabbed an average of 11.7 boards per game last season.
Kings power forward Jason Thompson is also a restricted free agent but that’s three players for one spot. If the Kings re-sign Thompson will they pursue Anderson to rotate him with Thompson and Robinson, and/or have Anderson play small forward?
If the Kings sign Anderson, he’d be the second Northern California player on the roster as center Chuck Hayes played at Modesto Christian High in the early 2000s. While there’s a large number of family and friends in El Dorado County who would love to see Anderson don a Kings uniform, he knows that the NBA is a business, likely trumping all other things considered.
One can’t help but think of this potential lineup come early November: guards Isaiah Thomas and Tyreke Evans in the backcourt, Tyler Honeycutt and Anderson at the No. 3 and 4 spots respectively, and center DeMarcus Cousins rounding out the starting five with Hayes and a few others coming off the bench.
Another plus if the Kings offer Anderson a contract: Sacramento needs a veteran player who displays leadership abilities and postseason experience. Anderson fits both of these qualities.
If the Kings are listening — offer Anderson a contract.
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or email@example.com. Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.