RTC NBA Draft Profiles: James AndersonPosted by nvr1983 on June 22nd, 2010
Over the course of the next month until the NBA Draft on June 24, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 30-35 collegians we feel have the best chance to hear their names called by David Stern in the first round that night. There won’t be any particular order to the list, but you can scroll back through all the finished profiles by clicking here.
Player Name: James Anderson
School: Oklahoma State
Height/Weight: 6’6″, 210 lbs
NBA Position: Shooting guard
Projected Draft Range: Mid-to-late first round
Overview: The casual college basketball fan may not be as familiar with Anderson as they are with many of the bigger names higher up the Draft board, but that does not mean he is any less prolific a scorer as the Cowboys junior guard averaged 22.3 PPG last season on his way to Big 12 POY Honors and a 1st team All-American selection (by The Sporting News). The questions for Anderson come for the other areas of his game beyond his ability to score from the outside and that will most likely keep him out of the lottery. Although he lacks the requisite athleticism to get one of those goofy draft labels Anderson has shown that he has the ability to get to the basket at times during the past season in Stillwater.
Will Translate to the NBA: A solid shooting guard with great range. Anderson’s game is a pretty well-known entity to most scouts with a relatively narrow floor and ceiling. Anderson already has all the tools he needs to become that sort of player right away in the right setting, but will need to work on some of his weaknesses (see below) if he wants to fulfill the promise he showed at times in Stillwater.
Needs Work: Anderson has great range and can get to the line, but the points in between could use a little work. Anderson has shown that he can cause the other team to commit turnovers (1.4 SPG), but hasn’t demonstrated the ability to be a lock-down defender. On offense, one major concern with Anderson is his ball-handling ability. In his junior year, Anderson averaged 2.4 turnovers per game (matching his assists). Although that isn’t an atrocious number it understates some of the difficulties that Anderson could have at the next level creating his own shot. Anderson will need to work on his ball-handling to help him create his own shot on occasion even if he does not need to create shots for others very often. Also with Anderson’s size he should be able to post-up smaller guards. If he develops his post-up game a bit more he could become one of the NBA’s elite scorers rather than just a spot-up shooter that some pundits expect him to be.
Comparison Player: NBADraft.net lists Nick Anderson as a comparison player and I think it works. Hopefully this Anderson is a little better at hitting free throws in a clutch situation. Even though most people remember Nick as the guy who missed 4 huge free throws at the end of Game 1 of the 1995 NBA Finals he also averaged nearly 20 PPG in consecutive seasons early in his career. James a better pure shooter, but I would give Nick the edge in ability to create his own shot. Still like Nick I think James could flourish in the right setting. If you’re looking for something a little more current, think of a poor man’s James Harden or Michael Redd–two crafty scorers who can light up a scoreboard without overwhelming athleticism.
Best Case Scenario: I would give Anderson a shot at being a 15-18 PPG guy down the road in the right setting (see below), but I wouldn’t expect him to contribute a whole lot else other than a few extra rebounds per game. Anderson has a very definite skill (long-range shooting) that plenty of NBA teams will value, which should make him an attractive commodity for the next decade. His lack of complimentary skills (especially on the defensive end) could limit his progression as he will probably never make an All-Star team, but should contribute to good teams for years to come. Anderson’s team could play a big role in his development too as he has two options: scoring a lot of points for a bad team or hitting big jumpers as a 2nd or 3rd option on a playoff contender.
2013 Projection: Anderson should be averaging around 10-12 PPG coming off the bench at this point in his career. Given the better looks he will have in the NBA since he will no longer be the focal point of opposing defenses Anderson should be able to still shoot close to 40% from beyond the arc while adding in a few rebounds, assists, and steals here and there.
Best NBA Fit: As we stated in our preview of Xavier Henry (a player that is similar to Anderson, but with a less refined game with more potential), the Chicago Bulls would be an ideal fit for a long-range shooter with Derrick Rose creating open looks and Joakim Noah kicking out offensive rebounds along with the possibility of LeBron James and/or Dwyane Wade potentially ending up in the Windy City.
*Andrew Murawa, a frequent contributor to RTC, assisted in the development of this profile.