I've got an extra James Anderson draft profile, get your extra James Anderson draft profile. One for $2, three for $5!

Anyway, on top of this one, there are several other draft profiles sitting over at RTC, but I wanted to publish this one as well, since I actually think Anderson will have a pretty strong and long NBA career.

Player Name: James Anderson
School: Oklahoma State
Height: 6'6
Weight: 208
NBA Position: Shooting Guard
Projected Draft Range: Mid-first round

Overview: Last season at Oklahoma State, James Anderson was clearly “the guy”. Aside from playing over 34 minutes a night, he was used on almost a third of the Cowboy possessions, and despite the high usage, was extremely efficient, scoring 1.23 points per possession. While Anderson came to Stillwater with the reputation as just a spot-up shooter, over the last couple of seasons he has added to his repertoire. Now he can run off screens for the catch-and-shoot three, he can put the ball on the floor and hit the pull-up three, he can slash to the hoop and he has even added some post-up game, a useful tool for a guy with good size for a two-guard. Basically, if it comes to putting the ball in the hoop, Anderson is very adept at it. While he is not an athletic freak with astounding leaping ability, he is a crafty scorer, able to get to his spots on the floor, and once there, able to knock down shots with deadly accuracy.

Will Translate to the NBA: At any level of basketball, guys that can put the ball in the basket on a regular basis are highly sought after. While Anderson may not have off-the-charts athleticism, he is an off-the-charts shooter with gorgeous form on his jumper and better yet, he has turned into a very efficient scorer; he can score in a variety of crafty ways, moves well without the ball, cuts off screens effectively, even a quick dribble into a pull-up jumper over his man. As the focal point of the Oklahoma State offense, drawing plenty of attention from the opposing defense, Anderson still shot 46% from the field and 34% from three, numbers that were down from the 48% and 41% he shot as a sophomore. Even his free throw percentage was down as a junior, decreasing to a still-exceptional 81%, although the fact that Anderson got to the line an excellent 9.2 times per 40 minutes as a junior is a nice cherry on top. Away from the focus of double teams and junk defenses, however, expect Anderson’s percentages to go back up across the board.

Needs Work: The biggest knock against Anderson is his defense. While not the type of elite athlete that is a competent defender just by showing up, Anderson is capable of playing far better defense that he did last season at OSU. Too often, Anderson seemed disinterested on the defensive end, allowing lesser opponents to drive past him. Anderson also shied away from any physicality on the defensive end, a trait that perhaps can be explained away by his need to remain out of foul trouble in order to best help his team, but Anderson will need to prove himself anew as a defender in the NBA, an even tougher task given that the level of competition that Anderson will face nightly is about to skyrocket. Offensively, Anderson is pretty complete, but could certainly tighten up his ballhandling skills. While he took very good care of the ball in college (especially for a guy with a ton of offensive touches), additional competency with the ball could go a long way towards mitigating his lack of an explosive first step.

Comparison Players: The James Harden comparison has made the rounds, and we find it fairly apt. Like Harden, Anderson is more of a crafty scorer than a wow machine. However, Harden is bigger and bulkier than Anderson, and probably not as good of a pure shooter. A better comparison may be Michael Redd; both players have a similar frame and a similar game. Redd was undervalued in his draft class, picked 43rd in the 2000 draft, but has made a career out of knocking down open looks with his quick release, even sneaking into a NBA All-Star game in 2004. Given Anderson’s penchant for scoring, if he winds up in a similar situation, an All-Star game or two is not out of the question.

Best Case Scenario: Anderson winds up on a team with a penetrating point guard and a post-up threat, allowing him to be a good second – or even third – option, running the wing and spotting up for clean looks. Early in his career he commits to improving his defensive game and while he never quite gets any votes for the all-defensive team, is also not a liability on that end of the court. If Anderson can just get to passable defensively, he could be ready for some serious NBA minutes immediately, ideally supplying a burst of scoring energy as one of the first guys off the bench as a rookie. By the middle of his career, he is a starter capable of scoring 20 a night, and at least garnering All-Star consideration in the right situation. As far as wins and losses goes, he could wind up in one of two situations: scoring a ton of points for a lower-tier team or knocking down clutch jumpers as a third option for a perennial playoff team.

2013 Projection: Anderson is a good enough athlete to patch up whatever deficiencies he may have on the defensive end, and by his third season, there is no reason he can’t be a capable NBA defender. More importantly, that shooting touch isn’t going anywhere, and his ability to pour in points will get him minutes. While there will surely be some time needed for him to adjust to the speed of the new league, by his third season you should see the Anderson that will spend a decade or more scoring for a living in the NBA. A lot will depend on his situation, but Anderson could be knocking down 18-20 ppg before the ink on his contract is dry.

Best NBA Fit: Chicago at #17 looks perfect for Anderson. With Derrick Rose running the offense and frontcourt cogs like Joakim Noah and Luol Deng locked in with the Bulls for years to come, Anderson would fit in almost immediately as a scorer off the bench with a spot in the starting lineup awaiting him just as soon as his defense is up to snuff. And with the young Bulls on the rise, Anderson could be a key ingredient on Chicago teams that are playing deep into late spring for years to come.



6/26/2010 03:49:55 pm

Penetrating PG and Post threat=Parker+Duncan, they run the pick and roll A LOT as well and all they need him to do is knock down wide open shots which he can do. Looks like he landed in the PERFECT situation. The Spurs ALWAYS, and I mean always get their SG/SF's wide open looks from the 3 but they almost never knock them down as the Spurs haven't had good shooters/players.

Anderson+Hill+Manu+Parker will be a sick back court especially when Manu and Parker are resting!

6/27/2010 05:13:52 am

I'd say it is a very good situation, perhaps not "perfect" if only because Duncan is closer to a Hall of Fame induction than he is to his peak, and the way Parker gets beat up, he is likely at least close to beginning the downward slide, despite his relative youth. If he had wound up in Chicago, he'd be playing with guys clearly on the good side of their careers. That being said, he does fit in real well with San Antonio and the Spurs definitely continue their history of getting good value for their picks late in the draft.

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