Thirteen players are averaging 18 points and seven rebounds per game this season:
- Russell Westbrook
- Kawhi Leonard
- Paul George
- Kevin Durant
- Blake Griffin
- LeBron James
- Andre Drummond
- Kevin Love
- Anthony Davis
- Brook Lopez
- Carmelo Anthony
- DeMarcus Cousins
- Ryan Anderson
Eleven of them are on max contracts or have signed a max extension. A 12th, Drummond, will almost certainly sign a max deal when his rookie-scale contract expires next summer.
The other – Ryan Anderson – might be available.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pelicans trade Ryan Anderson. At the moment, the Pelicans are letting teams know he is available if the right trade deal comes forth.
The injury-riddled Pelicans are 5-16 and unlikely to make the playoffs. Anderson has an expiring contract and might not re-sign with New Orleans this summer.
If he’s leaving this offseason and won’t help the Pelicans accomplish anything of note first, why not get something for him now?
Other teams should take a look, too. Anderson is an efficient-shooting stretch four who helps on the glass. His downside is defense, but he does enough on that end to make him playable. And once on the court, his offense is superb.
The key piece of information we’re missing is how likely he is to leave in unrestricted free agency. That’ll play a large role in how likely the Pelicans are to deal him, and they should have better insight into Anderson’s plans.
But even if they’re uncertain, they might be better off hedging their bets and trading him now – if another team makes it worth their while.