NBA Journeyman Justin Anderson Reportedly Returning To Philadelphia 76ers

Justin Anderson, then of the Philadelphia 76ers, celebrates after making a three-point shot during a 2018 NBA playoff game against the Miami Heat.
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Former collegiate All-American and 2015 first-round pick Justin Anderson is reportedly angling to cement his spot in the association with the team where he played his best basketball. Per a report by The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Keith Pompey on Friday, the 27-year-old shooting guard and small forward has agreed to a two-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.

According to Pompey, the contract offers only a partial guarantee for the 2020-21 campaign, meaning Anderson has essentially been given an opportunity to compete for a back-end roster spot during training camp.

The 76ers’ camp is slated to begin next week and will reportedly involve players participating in individual workouts for the first five days.

After spending the duration of his rookie-scale deal on NBA rosters, Anderson was largely a G League player in his fifth year, splitting his time with Raptors 905 and the Long Island Nets in 2019-20. As he attempted to work his way back into the association, he blossomed into one of the developmental league’s top overall performers, earning All-NBA G League Third Team honors.

Consequently, he was able to secure a contract with the coronavirus-plagued Brooklyn Nets as a replacement player ahead of the club’s move to the NBA bubble campus in Orlando, Florida.

Brooklyn Nets forward Justin Anderson tracks James Ennis of the Orlando Magic during a 2020 game in the league's bubble campus.
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Before he found himself in a battle for basketball relevance, Anderson had been a rotational piece for Philadelphia for the better part of two years. As noted by Pompey, his defensive prowess and intensity on the court paved the way for him to become a fan-favorite following his acquisition in a 2017 trade with the Dallas Mavericks.

His 24-game run with the 76ers in the wake of that move represents the high-water mark of his professional career to date. As tracked by Basketball-Reference, the Montross, Virginia native averaged 8.5 points and four rebounds in just under 22 minutes per contest.

He has also spent time with the Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards (preseason) during a professional run that has netted him well over $7 million.

Anderson will return to a Sixers squad that features a number of familiar faces, most notably All-Stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. However, the team has undergone significant changes around its young core. The franchise is now led by former Houston Rockets mastermind Daryl Morey in the front office, while Doc Rivers will man the sidelines following his departure from the Los Angeles Clippers.

More recently, the Sixers pulled off a number of other roster moves. As noted by Sports Illustrated, Morey acquired Danny Green and Seth Curry in separate draft-night trades.

Despite a litany of recent transactions, Philadelphia continues to be the focus of trade musings in the media, with Eddie Bitar of Fadeaway World hypothesizing about a potential deal that would send Embiid to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for a package centered on James Wiseman and Andrew Wiggins.