Raptors, Alan Anderson could stay together

- April 19th, 2012

Alan Anderson’s return to the NBA after a long absence has gone better than anybody besides Anderson could have expected and against all odds, the swingman might have played himself into Toronto’s future plans.

That will depend on what president/general manager Bryan Colangelo does this summer, but don’t count out an Anderson return to Canada after stints in Italy, Russia, Israel and the U.S., among others.

His play on two 10-day contracts convinced the Raptors to sign Anderson for the remainder of this campaign recently. In nine starts, Anderson has averaged 11.8 points, shot 43.6% from three and 44.7% from the field overall (his numbers are 9.1, 42.2%, 43.6% overall in 14 appearances with Toronto).

Colangelo is going to be extremely busy this summer looking to fill holes at small forward and point guard while also bringing top prospect Jonas Valanciunas and possibly another rookie or two into the fold via the draft (Toronto has its own first round pick, its second and another second from Indiana).

Anderson’s skill-set (versatile, rugged defender, who can hit outside shots at a high rate) fits  well with what Colangelo is building, but both sides are keeping their options open, knowing the roster could see a massive overhaul in the off-season.

“We will definitely have interest in him for next season but we mutually agreed (it was) not good to be tied down,” Colangelo told the Toronto Sun.

“If we need the (cap) space we have it. If he sees less opportunity because we draft, sign or trade for a wing, then he can look elsewhere.

“It’s best for both sides, but we also mutually like the fit.”

With his team well under the cap and the free agent pickings less than ideal, Colangelo would love to make a splash via the trade route prior to July 1st. That way, he would be able to take advantage of the space the Leandro Barbosa trade created, before that no longer would be the case.

Anderson won’t command the type of deal Anthony Parker (a superstar in Israel while Anderson merely was a good player) – got the last time Colangelo rebuilt the Raptors (Parker got $12 million over three years), but a Gary Forbes-esque deal ($1.5-$2 million a season) could make sense.

- Ryan Wolstat

Categories: Basketball, NBA, Toronto Raptors

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