Report: Rockets exploring options with Ryan Anderson

By Matthew Cardenas on June 11, 2018

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Kelly Iko of USA Today has reported that the Rockets are currently exploring trade options for forward Ryan Anderson, who is owed nearly $42 million over the next two seasons. A buyout is also in play if a trade is unable to happen. Anderson signed a four-year, $80 million contract with the Rockets in 2016 but fell out of the rotation during the playoffs this season.

The desire to trade Anderson recently has not been a secret. Players such as LeBron James and Paul George are on the Rockets radar this off-season. Moving Anderson (more so his contract) is the domino that needs to fall in order to sign one of two star free agents. It frees up cap space and honestly a contract that has value starting to diminish.

Trading Anderson would be the best case scenario for the Rockets. Even then, draft picks and possibly another player would be involved in that deal. If a buyout occurs, Daryl Morey and co. will still owe him a portion of the contract. It is clear they would prefer to have nothing to do with the contract once some sort of move is made.

Anderson can still produce for a team in today's NBA. His three-point shooting as a big is a necessity in today's style of play. Although a liability on the defensive end, the right team could make it work. The Rockets figured out quickly that P.J. Tucker was more valuable to the lineup due to both his three-point shooting and excellent defensive play. The "Tuckwagon" unit with Tucker at center became a go-to lineup this season that let the Rockets go super-small ball.

The fact it is June 11th and this report is already surfacing shows how aggressive Daryl Morey wants to be in the market this summer. It will be tough to move Anderson's contract and hopefully land another star player, but it is hard to doubt Daryl Morey at this point. James Harden and Chris Paul had the Rockets one win away from the NBA Finals this past season. Adding James or George would surely make this 65-win team even deadlier.

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