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In Appreciation of Ryan Anderson

Ryan Anderson was my cause during the runup to last year's NBA Draft. Dude was an excellent scorer in the Pac Ten, and for some reason, was being labeled a moderate prospect for the NBA.

I wrote before the draft:

If a power forward with three-point range dominates the Pac Ten, averaging 21 and 10, how could he be any worse than a lottery pick? He has no injury issues. Dozens of other draft hopefuls have yet to prove they can play good defense, either. Anderson's floor--the worst I see him performing--is Brian Cook's level. Lord knows he's a dynamic enough scorer to crack a rotation right away, and if you're passing that up for the likes of the guys in the section below, then you're beyond help.

He's probably not going to be a star in this league, but he's supplanted Yi Jianlian as the Nets' starting power forward, he's getting better on defense, and his offense has plenty of room to grow, especially since he can shoot threes.

Why highlight Anderson? Because he's exactly the type of player good teams pick up to supplement their stars and perhaps replace starters after a few years. He's cheap because he was drafted late in the first round, but he produces like a fifth/sixth man who would normally cost the MLE.

In this year's draft, if the quality guards are gone, position shouldn't matter to the Bobcats anymore, and the next Ryan Anderson might be sitting there, ripe for the plucking.