Anderson expected to be in a Wizards uniform, multiple league sources confirmed at the time. He’d even told John Wall via text that he believed that he was headed to D.C. But president Ernie Grunfeld never called back after an initial conversation in free agency and wasn’t willing to go that high to acquire his services.
That’s a strange turn, leaving many questions: What made Anderson so certain he’d be a Wizard? Did Grunfeld change his mind, or was there a miscommunication about his intentions? What changed with the Rockets where they offered more than Washington would? Did the Wizards ever have a realistic chance at Horford? Could Washington have signed Anderson for its desired price if it acted more quickly on him?
The Wizards wound up with Ian Mahinmi, Andrew Nicholson, Jason Smith, maybe a lesson in free agency tactics and potentially a sigh of relief if Anderson continues to struggle defensively and inside the arc offensively. But Washington can’t feel like it dodged a bullet unless Ian Mahinmi performs well once he returns from injury. Nicholson and Smith have certainly struggled.
The biggest winners in this story are the players who got paid and Boston, which got Horford.