Brooklyn Boro

Nets lose key role player during cost-cutting offseason

Anderson Seeks Capital Gains in D.C.

July 8, 2015 By John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Alan Anderson bid farewell to Brooklyn by inking a one-year, $4 million deal to play in our nation’s capital next season. AP photo
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With the NBA’s moratorium on announcing free-agent and trade activities officially coming to a close Thursday morning, the Brooklyn Nets can finally reveal the $110 million in contracts they doled out to returning center Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young.

They can also kiss “Mr. Reliability” goodbye. confirmed earlier this week that Alan Anderson, one of Brooklyn’s most valuable reserves and locker room leaders over the past two seasons, has inked a one-year, $4 million pact to play for the Washington Wizards in 2015-16.

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With Lopez and Young locked up for the foreseeable future, Nets general manager Billy King has secured what he hopes will be the foundation of the franchise going forward.

But in doing so, the GM left himself very little in the way of salary maneuverability as the Nets try to build a team around the inside tandem.

The Nets would like to remain below the NBA’s luxury-tax cap next season (approximately $90 million), leaving them unable to offer Anderson what he was apparently worth to the Wizards on the open market.

The 32-year-old forward averaged 7.4 points and shot 44.3 percent from the field in 23.6 minutes per game this past season, helping Brooklyn rally to grab the eighth and final playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.

He was also instrumental during the Nets’ run to the conference semifinals in 2013-14, starting the critical Games 6 and 7 as Brooklyn came from behind to defeat Toronto in the opening round.
“Alan’s versatility was a big part of our success last season,” said King after re-signing Anderson just last summer. “We look forward to Alan’s continued leadership on and off the court this season.”

Dubbed “Mr. Versatility” by King during his tenure here, Anderson filled in and/or started at every position except center for former head coach Jason Kidd and Lionel Hollins.

After the departure of future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett to Minnesota in a swap for Young at February’s trade deadline, Anderson became an even more important voice in the locker room.

In fact, when Anderson missed the last seven games of the regular season due to ankle issues, the Nets found themselves slipping out of the playoff race before a fortuitous result or two on the season’s final day put them in the postseason for the third straight year.

All Anderson did upon returning to the lineup for the Nets’ first-round playoff series against top-seeded Atlanta was average 11.0 point and 3.5 rebounds over six games while shooting a team-best 61 percent from the floor, including a staggering 63 percent from 3-point range, before Brooklyn was eliminated.

Eligible to opt out and explore free agency this summer, Anderson, unlike fellow potential opt-outs Lopez and Young, was not talked about as a key piece the Nets needed to bring back into the fold for next season.

But his steady contributions off the bench for Brooklyn the past two years, and especially during the playoffs, when he seemed capable of upping his production, can not be overlooked.

He posted career highs in win shares, offensive rating, defensive rating and effective field-goal percentage in 2014-15, according to Basketball-Reference.

The six-year NBA veteran, who went undrafted out of Michigan State in 2005, is no stranger to being overlooked.

He enjoyed a couple of stints with Charlotte from 2005-07 before spending the better part of the next five years playing in Italy, Russia, Croatia, Israel, Spain and China. He finally returned to the NBA with Toronto in 2012.

A Net since 2013, Anderson would doubtlessly have liked the chance to continue his tenure here in Brooklyn, but the price wasn’t right for the cost-netting Nets, who will instead hope for better production from their remaining swing men.

Bojan Bogdanovic, recently signed rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, second-year guard Markel Brown and Sergey Karasev will have to help pick up the slack.

Nothing But Net: Hollis-Jefferson, whom the Nets acquired from Portland on draft night, managed just two points on 1-of-6 shooting in 21 minutes as Brooklyn’s Summer League team suffered a 64-55 loss to Charlotte in Orlando on Tuesday. … Brown led the Nets with 12 points and Jonathan Simmons added 11 points off the bench. … Brooklyn will continue its summer slate Thursday afternoon against the Magic, taking its fourth stab at its first win.  

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