The Kevin Durant dream is dead. Even the most die hard of Wizards’ fans have accepted this fate.
So if not the hometown hero, then who?
Now that Kevin Durant has dropped from the wish list for the Wizards with free agency set to open at the end of the week, Ryan Anderson is their next priority, multiple league sources tell CSNmidatlantic.com on Monday, and they’ll make an aggressive move in hopes of securing the three-point shooting forward.
Anderson, a 6-10 free agent from the New Orleans Pelicans, averaged 17 points and six rebounds in 66 appearances last season. He shot 36.6% from three-point range and is the type of stretch option that could work better than Jared Dudley and Kris Humphries did in a disastrous 41-41 season.
The interesting question is this: If the Wizards are interested in Anderson, what does that say for Markieff Morris? The Wizards went after Anderson at the trade deadline but ended up with Morris, who played fairly well for them and has a very reasonable three years, $24 million left on his deal.
Because he’s missed time with injuries and been essentially hidden in New Orleans (a team with few national television games) people have forgotten that when healthy, Anderson is arguably the best stretch four in the NBA. He averaged 17 points a game and shot 36.6 percent from three last season, plus pulled down six boards a game. He’s able to do more than just shoot the rock, he can put the ball on the floor and create a little too. His weakness is the other end of the floor; he’s not getting you a lot of stops.
There will be a lot of demand for his services. For the Wizards to win that battle, they are going to have to offer the most money. Is Ted Leonsis ready to write those checks?