The Rockets finally nabbed a big name.
After striking out on all the key free agents in the first 36 hours of NBA free agency, reports surfaced Saturday that Houston has added forward Ryan Anderson on a four-year, $80 million deal. His agency confirmed the deal.
That's a lot of money for Anderson, but then, he was one of the names everyone was targeting in this free agency class. He's a top-notch shooter, better than what he showed in New Orleans, and can rebound a bit too. In Mike D'Antoni's system in the Boris Diaw role he could be very productive. Anderson averaged 17 points on 37 percent shooting from 3-point range last season for New Orleans along with six rebounds per game at age 27.
The problem, of course, is defense. It's $80 million for a guy who is just not capable of playing top-end defense despite a good effort. When teams see James Harden and Ryan Anderson in a pick-and-roll defense, their eyes are going to light up, and while Clint Capela (projected starter for the Rockets) is good on the back end, he can't cover for that entirely. Throw in Mike D'Antoni's reputation for never practicing or emphasizing defense and that's a recipe for disaster.
Even with Anderson, without a wing upgrade the Rockets have yet to resolve their biggest concern, which is defense. Anderson at $20 million per isn't great value, even if it's expected market value for a good player. The Rockets didn't make a disastrous decision here, they just didn't gain any ground, either.