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After coming off a 2011-12 campaign during which he split time between the big league club and their minor league affiliate Austin Toros squad, Anderson failed to to receive another contract offer this summer. He spent training camp with the Atlanta Hawks, but was subsequently waived and opted to join the D-League in the meantime.
In addition to asserting some potential offensive prowess while playing in Austin, Anderson still managed to appear in 51 contests (out of a lockout-limited 66) with the Spurs as well. Averaging 11.8 minutes per game, the guard became a steady member in the team's nightly rotation. When he wasn't, it was simply because he taking the time out to hone his skills in the NBADL. Otherwise, Anderson was always considered a member of the team.
Displaying sound defensive fundamentals in the NBA, and a potential for more upside to his offensive skills, Anderson seemingly did enough to warrant being held onto this season. Alas, perhaps the contender wasn't convinced their former first rounder was polished enough yet to continue on.
But now Anderson is back in town. After spending D-League training camp with the Rio Valley Grande Vipers, it's puzzling to think why the Spurs never tried to keep him in the fold. Why not reach out to him originally about playing for the Toros this season instead? If the curiosity was still there, and there was a possibility they would welcome him back, why wouldn't San Antonio keep tabs on him?
The Toros' backcourt is crowded, for what it's worth. In addition to former NBADL M.V.P. Justin Dentmon, Spurs' assignee Cory Joseph is also spending time in Austin. NBA veteran Luther Head currently dons a Toros' uniform as well.
There may not have been an opportunity for Anderson to truly strut his stuff with San Antonio's minor league affiliate, but lucky for him, the Spurs' staff already knows what he's all about. They remember him all too well, and apparently liked what they saw from him enough to bring him back. Better late than never.
More on Anderson from the NBA D-League office:
The San Antonio Spurs today signed guard James Anderson for the second GATORADE Call-Up of the 2012-13 NBA Development League season. Anderson joins more than 90 players with NBA D-League experience currently on NBA rosters.
Anderson (6-6, 215, Oklahoma State), who was selected by San Antonio with the 20th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, rejoins the Spurs having played 77 games with the team between 2010-12, when he averaged 3.7 points, 1.3 rebounds and 11.5 minutes. A member of the Atlanta Hawks during the 2012 NBA preseason, Anderson appeared in six games and averaged 2.0 points and 10.7 minutes. He appeared in two preseason games for the Vipers last week scoring 32 points in 46 minutes.