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.
For any NBA team interested in trading for Pelicans Ryan Anderson, source said he’s very interested in exploring FA so he’d be only a rental
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) February 15, 2016
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.