NBA trade rumors are suggesting that Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy wants to reunite with Ryan Anderson, who played for him when he was with the Orlando Magic, according to ESPN.
The Detroit Pistons are currently in the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, but Stan Van Gundy knows that he needs to get his squad into the top four spots so they can get home court advantage in the first round of the NBA Playoffs and avoid playing LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In order to make that possibility have a higher chance of coming true, Stan Van Gundy knows that he is going to need to tweak the Detroit Pistons starting lineup, which currently consists of blossoming star Reggie Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marcus Morris, Ersan Ilyasova, and All-Star center Andre Drummond.
If Stan Van Gundy, who has the dual title of head coach and president of basketball operations, can convince the New Orleans Pelicans to send him Ryan Anderson, then he can have the 6’10” forward replace Ersan Ilyasova in the starting lineup, which would open up the court for the Detroit Pistons because Anderson is a tremendous outside shooter.
Andre Drummond loves to score from the low post area like traditional centers used to do in the NBA, so he would definitely appreciate Ryan Anderson being able to prevent defenses from sending double and triple teams from the perimeter on a frequent basis.
Stan Van Gundy might not need to do a whole bunch of convincing because reports have surfaced that the New Orleans Pelicans, who are sitting at a 17-28 record and have considered this a lost season despite the continued superb play of All-Star forward Anthony Davis, have been shopping around Ryan Anderson, who is taking up a whopping $8.5 million of the salary cap.
One potential trade could have the Detroit Pistons sending Aron Baynes, a 6’10”, 260-pound center that can do the dirty work for Anthony Davis, to the New Orleans Pelicans for Ryan Anderson, who is on the final year of his contract and might leave via free agency anyway.
Ersan Ilyasova is a fairly productive NBA player, so the New Orleans Pelicans might be inclined to swap him with Ryan Anderson, especially since Ilyasova has two years remaining on his contract at a nowadays reasonable $7.9 million salary.
Jodie Meeks, a player whom many felt that Stan Van Gundy overpaid for in free agency, is expected to be back from a foot injury soon, but since he has to compete for minutes with Brandon Jennings and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the veteran guard might be more inclined to try earning minutes with a team like the New Orleans Pelicans.
Then again, Stan Van Gundy could simply opt to keep his assets and pursue Ryan Anderson when he becomes a free agent this summer, even though there is expected to be quite a good amount of competition in signing him because NBA teams have put a premium on big men who can stretch the floor and allow them to play small ball lineups.
A team like the Houston Rockets would love to find a consistent stretch forward that can open up the low post area for Dwight Howard, who may or may not stick around with the team because he has an option in his contract that enables him to become a free agent this summer as well.
Another team that could show interest in Ryan Anderson during free agency is the New York Knicks, as team president Phil Jackson would love to see what type of offensive mismatches that his team could create by pairing up a stretch forward with Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis, another big man that can shoot from the perimeter.
Stan Van Gundy is going to have competition for Ryan Anderson’s services.
[Featured Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images]