Ryan Anderson has been mentioned as a Detroit Pistons trade target but they may be better off pursuing him as a free agent after the season.
With the New Orleans Pelicans facing an uphill battle to get into playoff position in the Western Conference, forward Ryan Anderson has been a hot name in trade speculation – including in connection to the Detroit Pistons.
There is a lot to like from multiple angles. Anderson’s versatility and ability to score from the outside as a 6-10 forward makes him an asset for any team in need of a stretch four. His expiring deal will appeal to contenders looking for a boost without taking on a long term commitment.
The short-term nature of trading for Anderson was highlighted in a report from Marc Spears today. Any team trading for Anderson should consider the move for just the rest of season only.
That’s not to say Anderson wouldn’t consider re-signing with a team that trades for him, but it doesn’t sound like the familiarity gained from a rest of the season stay will be an advantage; at least not much of one.
Would Ryan Anderson make the Pistons better immediately? Absolutely, but Stan Van Gundy has been clear that the playoff-chasing Pistons won’t sacrifice their long-term vision for a short-term gain. Anderson’s two best seasons as measured by PER came under Stan Van Gundy so a reunion makes perfect sense for both parties. However, the timing may not be right as a trade deadline acquisition.
Anderson being traded elsewhere means the Pistons don’t take the hit of giving up assets to get him, while doing nothing to diminish their long-term prospects. With Anderson wanting to explore free agency as Spears reports, the Pistons can wait to make a run at him as a free agent. They will have to come up with a big offer to land him but that would be the case even if they traded for him during the season.
The Pistons skidded to the All-Star Break and now find themselves a half game back of the Charlotte Hornets for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Falling back to .500 and out of playoff position could lead to a panic move but Van Gundy needs to stick to his guns. Is a move necessary? Probably, but any move made needs to come with long-term upside rather than just a quick fix.
When it comes to adding Ryan Anderson, the best plan is to wait.