San Antonio Spurs News

How Good Can Kyle Anderson Be?

By George Middleton

Lets get one thing straight, Kyle Anderson will not be used the way most first round rookies are in their first season. Anderson’s role on the defending champs will be minuscule, if that. The 6”9 do it all point-forward has the potential to be a special player in a few years. The UCLA product was seen as a potential lottery pick, but somehow slipped to the 30th pick. When I was watching the draft and saw Anderson was still on the board with the draft already late in the first round, I felt the Spurs were going to take him and I was right.

Watching him since he arrived to Westwood as a freshman, I thought to myself what can’t Anderson do? The answer is simple, he can nearly do it all. Anderson might not pass the “eye test”, in terms of jumping “40” inches or running the floor like superstar Kevin Durant, but he is an old school player. What I mean by that, is he truly relies on his feel for the game and his skill set, not needing to jump over or run by anyone. Anderson is an elite passer with a high IQ and a terrific rebounder. As a shooter Anderson is improving, as he shot 48% from three as a sophomore at UCLA, after shooting 21% as a freshman.

Anderson averaged 14.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 6.5 assists last year. While Anderson is certainly heavy footed and lacks the physical tools that many forwards in the NBA possess, he finds a way to make plays on defense. Anderson averaged 1.8 steals and 0.8 blocks, not bad for a person who isn’t labeled as an “athlete”.

What is Anderson’s ceiling as an NBA player?

If given opportunity I see him being similar to teammate Boris Diaw. The two players are remarkably similar in terms of skill. When I say Diaw I am talking about the Diaw that took the NBA by storm in Phoenix. Diaw was lighter on his feet, but their playing styles are identical. Diaw was a terrific passer that was able to play multiple positions with ease and certainly wasn’t a confident shooter until the latter stages of his career. Like Anderson, Diaw didn’t necessarily rely on being athlete, but being a skilled player. Anderson going 30th can end up paying off immensely, but it will take a few years before he produces.