As the Pelicans move forward and try to compete for a NBA title some tough decisions are going to need to be made. Right now the team is seemingly lacking for tradeable assets. But what about the idea of using Ryan Anderson as trade bait? Does it make sense? Rick and Andrew went back and forth on whether the New Orleans Pelicans should consider moving Anderson this coming offseason:
Rick: So I think I’m in the minority here who say it wouldn’t be such a bad decision for the Pelicans to trade Ryno this offseason. I’ll let you begin this. Why shouldn’t New Orleans move Anderson?
Andrew: Shouldn’t the Pelicans be keeping all of the talent that they can in order to build a team that they want around Anthony Davis? I think that his skill set is unique enough that it leaves options open for the team as a unit, and even the possibility of eventually using him as a trade asset down the road. Keeping him aids the team in their second weakest area, three-point shooting, which they desperately need to space the floor. I think he is too valuable on the offensive end of the floor to give up for something else, unless you have an idea I have yet to hear about.
Rick: This is my issue with Ryan Anderson. I consider it the “Unwritten Rule of NBA GM’s”, that you can not have your best bench player at the same position as your best starter. Anderson and Davis didn’t work well at all last year, mostly due to the fact that this unit is easily penetrate on defense. Sure, Anderson’s injuries last year made it tough to see both of them on the floor together, however with all the offensive success there were defensive woes. Ryan Anderson made his career by helping space out Dwight Howard. Sure, Anthony Davis is a fantastic offensive option like Howard inside, however Dwight was able to make up for Anderson’s inefficiency on the defensive end. AD can’t do that. The big reason I bring up a trade is he can be used along with an Eric Gordon or Tyreke Evans to really balance out this team. Detroit would be much more open to a Greg Monroe deal if you add along a Ryan Anderson like player, and might even get them a future first rounder from the Pistons. His stock is high right now, and while he could be an interesting asset in the future, the Pelicans could really cash in now on him.
Andrew: I will reserve my opinion to say that your idea in fact does not sound like a bad one. I like the option of having Greg Monroe on this team and a potential first rounder. My only problem is that we are still getting rid of Ryan Andersen. It is in my opinion that Anthony Davis will develop tremendously over this off-season, and is going to make a leap almost no one is expecting. I think he will evolve into an excellent small ball center, and even a passable starting caliber center, which would also free up the Pelicans in other areas. While I understand that this may not be a popular opinion, I think that with that development, Ryan Andersen can become a tremendous tool for this team if he is still on it and not being floated around in trade rumors.
Rick: I don’t have any confidence Anderson could handle Marc Gasol or Dwight Howard, who both reside at that position. I think the Pelicans would rather have AD be able to guard those guys and play a combo C when Anderson hits the floor. You do make a solid point earlier than the Pelicans offense desperately needs a three-point marksman to fit along with the driving forces of Jrue and Tyreke along with AD. I just don’t think a guy like Anderson is the right fit. I also can see why holding Anderson and trying him out again for a healthier season to up his value might be a good idea as well. Maybe if the Pelicans went after a developing center to work him around off the bench, such as Jordan Hill or Greg Oden, then it would make more sense to keep him around. It just doesn’t seem like he fits the long-term plan the Pelicans want with AD as their superstar. And there are players that will be available that would fit the Pelicans philosophy. Also we might have to consider if the Pelicans should be so quick to make moves, especially after they let a guy who could possibly be their franchise center go in the Jrue Holiday trade many question. The Monroe deal makes sense in a lot of ways.
Andrew: My thought here is not that Anderson would be guarding the 5′s of opposing teams, it is that Anthony Davis would be guarding them, and it is he who will make a jump defensively. (I am under the assumption that we are all aware of what Davis should be able to do offensively.) If this were to take place, I feel like Anderson coming off of the bench for whoever the starting center would be, would allow AD to move down to the five. In this situation, he would play a small ball center while said center was resting. This would be a fantastic use for Anderson that could keep the Pelican’s second unit above water when things get dicey, and playing him with Davis and the other starters in this situation would allow for more floor spacing for Holiday, Evans, and AD.
Rick: This is the question I bring up though. Is the risk of AD getting in foul trouble vs. guys he can’t guard like Gasol and Howard worth it just so Anderson can space the floor? It’s a tricky situation, because even with the awkwardness of the position he plays, he fits the team SO well. If he was a SF, it would be a dream. However, the Pelicans can not run him at SF at all because it would be a disaster. New Orleans should at least consider moving him if it can help the team overall. He shouldn’t be untouchable at this point. Only AD and Jrue should be, and Jrue is because this team has no other PG they can use. PF is by far their deepest position. They could just rotate Jason Smith in and still be a super powerful team. He isn’t Anderson, but is a solid player who was played extremely out of position last year to fit. It’s all up to Demps at this point. But if Detroit offers a first rounder and Monroe for EG and Ryan Anderson, I think you take that deal.
Andrew: I would most definitely take that deal. This is a situation in which I think the Pelicans could capitalize quickly from. The one thing I will point out though is AD’s average fouls per game at 2.7 fouls per game over his career, which would in theory give him a little extra lee-way when working against the bigger opponents. To go along with this, I would like to see this particular lineup ran only a maximum of 15 minutes a game or so. This allows AD ample time to rest, and makes sure that the big’s rotation isn’t getting to get messed up. I will reiterate however, if this trade you speak of is presented, and turned down by Dell Demps, I might scream.
Rick: I have screamed at Dell Demps’ decisions for a while now. So this wouldn’t shock me at all. I just wonder what the peak value is for Anderson on this team? 20-25 minutes? 3 three’s a game? Can he be an effective rebounder on the defensive glass on a team that struggled to get on the defensive glass all season? The Pelicans tried to change their look and didn’t really make much positive progress. Should they take a chance to revamp it again, and would trading Ryno be better for the team? If the right deal comes up, I think they have to do it. But that’s my personal opinion on the team. Just seems like too many people are shooing away from the idea without realizing the positive benefits of a well-timed and well planned move.
Andrew: I feel like if the right move were to come up, you almost have to move him. However, the new debate comes in when we discuss what the right trade is. I think there are very few situations in which I feel it is appropriate timing to trade Anderson this off-season. One of these situations is the Detroit trade that you mentioned previously, and you and I have had talks about this, but it would suit the Pelicans well, and give them an opportunity at improving down the road as well.
Rick: You would have to believe New Orleans needs a real center and a more effective and possible all-star fringe SF. If you can get either of those for a Anderson, you move him. At this deadline other than Monroe, there isn’t a guy out there who fits that model unfortunately. I just think you have to consider it. Do I think they will move him? No because it doesn’t seem to fit their plans. But I think they should consider the price they could get for him on the market and possibly dangle him out there to see what teams think he’s worth.
Andrew: I think trying to get Monroe for EG would be the best option, and keep Anderson for the time being. I don’t think his value is high enough to get what you need for him, however, weird things have happened in past off-seasons, we’ll have to see what happens this time around.
Rick: Maybe you throw in Aminu as a S+T option too with EG it might be more enticing. If they can get Monroe and hold onto Ryno, that’s a MAJOR victory for Demps.
So what do you think? Do you believe that the Pelicans should consider moving Ryan Anderson? Tell us in the comments section.