April 12, 2011; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers point guard Shannon Brown (right) passes the ball against the defense of San Antonio Spurs shooting guard James Anderson (25) during the first half at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
ESPN has officially embarked on their quest to rank the top 500 NBA players for the upcoming season. As each Spur is listed, I will provide a synopsis and a brief take on why they deserve (or don’t) this ranking.
Prior to last season, reports were surfacing from training camp — notably from Tony Parker who was really impressed with James Anderson — that highlighted the potential for a sophomore breakout season. He was young and talented and an opportunity stared him straight in the face.
Anderson regressed in his second season. He appeared in 51 games and averaged 3.7 points and 37.9% shooting with San Antonio which was apparently enough to deem unworthy of a future stay; San Antonio declined their paltry $1.5 team option on Anderson, who is still only 23 years old. It was a bold statement that stemmed from his ineffectiveness and Danny Green’s emergence.
He will likely find a new home but the NBA rankers aren’t too fond as they ranked him 424th, nearly 100 spots lower than last year (346).
My take. Anderson’s rank is fine, in this instance, because he hasn’t shown much at the NBA level. The potential is still there, and he is still really young, so there is hope that his scoring ability translates. But if he’s going to succeed, Anderson will need to revamp his game and improve on spot-ups and in transition — he fared poorly in both marks on a per possession basis according to MySynergy Sports.