James Anderson talks with coach Gregg Popovich. Maybe he stole some of his secrets for Larry Drew to borrow?

2012 Atlanta Hawks Player Preview: James Anderson


James Anderson isn’t your most well-known basketball player. In fact, I wouldn’t hold it against you if you didn’t even know that this guy existed prior to now. (I assure you, Wikipedia says he did)

However, Mr. Anderson is, for now, part of the Atlanta Hawks training camp roster. His contract is not guaranteed, meaning the Hawks are essentially able to cut the 6’6″ guard at any time.

Anderson can bring some decent play to court, though. In three years at Oklahoma State, he shot a career 37.5% behind the arc, and averaged 22 points and nearly six boards in his last season. (He won Big 12 Player of the Year and and spot on the All-American 1st team; not too bad) He was then drafted 20th overall by the Spurs in 2010, who put him on their bench with all of their other sharpshooters that they seem to find out of nowhere. He had some success in his rookie season, playing in 26 games and shooting 39.1% behind the arc, which was intertwined with a couple of stints with the Spurs D-League affiliate.

In his 2nd season, he did not do anything to establish himself from the other myriad of shooters on the Spurs. He did play in 51 games, and even started two, but his minutes essentially remained the same from his rookie year. (which is 11-12 minutes per) His three-point shooting plummeted, though, and the Spurs decided not to re-sign him, which is how he wound up on the Hawks.

So, how will Anderson fit on the Hawks? He’s proven that he can be a decent shooter. Of course, the Hawks already have plenty of good sharpshooters, and Anderson has not done much on defense to give himself any sort of edge over his counterparts.

You could say that having a shooter at the end of your bench isn’t always a bad thing, but think about this: do the Hawks have room for him at the end of the bench? The Hawks already have Jeff Teague, Lou Williams, Devin Harris, Anthony Morrow, John Jenkins, and Kyle Korver as guys who can play the guard positions, and all of them appear to be better three-point shooters than Anderson. Korver and Morrow might not even start, and they are both top ten three-point shooters in the league. (i.e. Anderson has his work cut out for him)

My prediction is that, unfortuately, James will not make the Hawks opening-day roster. It would be nice if he would go down to the D-League for the Hawks, because it never hurts to have a guy to bring up in case of an injury. However, I wouldn’t blame him for leaving to sign elsewhere, where I am sure he could make a team.

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