Stan Van Gundy just can’t help himself.
The Detroit Pistons really don’t need another core piece. They should look to use their cap space on a younger backup point guard who can run pick-and-roll (Jeremy Lin comes to mind) and a more natural backup center than Aron Baynes. Otherwise, assuming Stanley Johnson turns into the defender we expect and everyone else shoots a bit better, the Pistons are right on track. They don’t need any more major additions.
But damn it, Van Gundy loves his shooting power forwards, and there isn’t a better one on the market than Ryan Anderson. That’s not a compliment so much as it’s an indictment on this free agency class, this publication is very firm in its opposition to Anderson being paid major money. He’s a role player who’s going to get high-end starter money.
At the very least though, Anderson is a solid fit with Detroit’s offense. He provides a fair bit of spacing around the Reggie Jackson-Andre Drummond pick-and-roll (the foundation of Detroit’s offense), and he moves Tobias Harris to the bench where he can carry units without the rest of the starters. Harris is probably a starter long-term, but the Pistons had one of the worst benches in basketball last season, so having a starting-caliber player there probably makes sense.
It’s just than Anderson and Marcus Morris would get absolutely roasted by any front court that can dribble. Considering Cleveland is in the East, and LeBron James and Kevin Love both dribble rather well and can post up the league’s best defenders with ease, that’s not exactly a desirable matchup. Detroit may want to wait Cleveland out, and without any other young teams really looming that might make some sense, but it virtually assures Detroit of getting knocked out the next few years. Anderson is unplayable against the Cavs.
He’s unplayable against most good teams, that’s just an example. This isn’t going to be a smart signing, but Van Gundy loved him in Orlando and he’s going to sniff around him now that he’s in Detroit. Someone is overpaying for Anderson. Van Gundy just seems like the most likely party.
Likely Contract: Four Years, $72 Million