Now that the Cleveland Cavaliers have landed the biggest free agent on the market in LeBron James, all attention has turned to how they will fill out the rest of their roster. With all eyes on Mike Miller and Ray Allen to stretch the floor, there does not seem to be a contingency plan if the Cavaliers were to miss on both of these players.
Miller is considering a potentially more lucrative offer from the Denver Nuggets, while Allen reportedly has yet to decide between retirement and playing another season. As more and more free agents come off the board thanks to James and Carmelo Anthony finally deciding where they will play, the Cleveland Cavaliers front office cannot afford to wait on two aging veterans—even if they would provide excellent leadership and plenty of playoff experience.
One player on the open market who could fill the “stretch the floor” aspect of that equation is shooting guard, James Anderson. After playing for the Philadelphia 76ers last season, he was waived at the end of June despite having his best statistical season of his career when given his first real opportunity of his young career.
Anderson started 62 of 80 games for the desperate 76ers, averaging 10.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists. In 28.9 minutes per night, he shot 43.1 percent from the field and 32.8 percent from three-point land.
An afterthought thanks to spending the majority of his career with the very deep San Antonio Spurs, Anderson was the No. 20 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft out of Oklahoma State. Known as one of the deadliest shooters in all of college basketball, Anderson averaged 22.3 points per game on 45.7 percent shooting his final year in college. He shot 37.5 percent from three-point land during his career, with a 46 percent shooting percentage overall.
Though he has yet to truly show his abilities at the NBA level thanks to a lack of playing time, Anderson could be a very nice fit in Cleveland coming off the bench. At just 25-years of age, playing behind the likes of James, Andrew Wiggins and Dion Waiters could slot him for 15 to 18 minutes per night. At a likely much cheaper option than Miller and much younger than Allen, Anderson could provide similar production to both players.
It may seem like an idea out of left field, but the Cavaliers will likely be looking for these “bargain basement” type of deals as free agency moves forward. With Anderson just looking for playing time and an opportunity to prove himself, a one or two-year deal for the veteran minimum might be something that intrigues him—especially with an opportunity to play with James and Kyrie Irving.