2019 NBA Offseason: Atlanta Hawks Should Trade for Ryan Anderson

Ryan Anderson Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Offseason (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Ryan Anderson Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Offseason (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

A quick look at why Ryan Anderson might be a good fit on the Atlanta Hawks during the 2019 NBA offseason.

I know what you’re thinking: “In the 2019 NBA offseason, you want an up-and-coming franchise like the Atlanta Hawks to trade for a notably unplayable defender on a team that is already not particularly well-known for its defensive personnel? Why?”

Perhaps I’ve been swayed by basketball writer Kirk Goldsberry’s new book Sprawlball, which begins with a lengthy dissection of the impact that Ryan Anderson had on the 2016-17 Houston Rockets. It is certainly true that Anderson is one of the few players – at any position – that can truly warp defenses with his spacing due to his ability to spot up from way, way downtown.

In his career per Basketball Reference, Anderson is a 38 percent three-point shooter on a 53.4 percent three-point attempt rate. This begs the question: Why would the Hawks want to add a one-way player like Anderson to a team with already limited defensive personnel?

First-year head coach Lloyd Pierce implemented a modern offensive system in his first year and also prioritized playing an extremely fast pace – two things that Anderson would benefit from, clearly. Despite having a horrendous season in limited action with the Suns and Heat, his time with the Rockets should be a harbinger for what his role might be with the Hawks.

Trae Young attracts a lot of attention, much like James Harden did when Anderson was on the Rockets, which means that Anderson will have an ocean of space around him to spot up from deep as a 6-foot-10, 240-pound big man.

In this case, the Atlanta Hawks would be hedging that offense can outweigh defense – especially in the regular season – and lead to the next step in General Manager Travis Schlenk’s master rebuild plan in the 2019 NBA offseason.

Just so we have it, this deal would work straight up as Anderson for Kent Bazemore, which is fine since the Hawks should look trade Baze as soon as possible in the 2019 NBA offseason.

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Even if Anderson bombs mightily in Atlanta (like he did in 2018-19 in two separate stops), he is a free agent after next season, so there’s no long-term commitment there.