While it's been reported plenty of places elsewhere, I just found out about it today. After announcing it on Twitter, Sharapova's Thigh's Matt Clapp kindly pointed out that "death is no excuse to not update us on the D-League happenings." While my emergency gall bladder removal wasn't exactly death, it did keep me from covering the D-League beat yesterday.
Anyway, let's get my thoughts out on Antonio Anderson. He's a fine player, but in my opinion, there were more NBA-ready players available. Unless the Thunder were specifically looking for a talented but slumping combo guard whose defense is a bit overrated and offensively underrated, I'm a bit perplexed by this move.
Had it come in December, when Anderson was averaging 18.1 points, 7.1 assists and 4.5 boards, I could definitely get behind this decision. D-League Digest's Steve Weinman had a pretty good, positive breakdown of Anderson here from a game he focused on in the end of December. I wrote about him numerous times as well, suggesting he'd be a good candidate for the Golden State Warriors at the time.
The following month, Anderson's averages dropped to just 13.4 points, 5.4 boards and 3.9 assists, while hitting 2-of-21 from beyond the arc.In February, he's been a bit better, averaging 14.5 points, 5.7 assists and 4.2 boards, which is an improvement, but still not outstanding when you look at other players in the D-League (Carlos Powell, Morris Almond, Reggie Williams, et cetera).
The other thing that makes me wonder about this move is that if he's ready for the NBA, why didn't the Houston Rockets call him up instead of Garrett Temple? While both played for their D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, I was always more intrigued by Anderson than I have been with Temple - both essentially play the same position(s). Still if Daryl Morey likes Temple more than he likes Anderson, I'm going to trust Morey's decision making.
Even though the above paragraphs seem like I'm not into this move, it could be great if I knew exactly what Oklahoma City was planning to do with the versatile Anderson. As long as they didn't call him up to step in right away, and rather called him up as a player they can develop in the OKC gameplan - maybe even assign him to the Tulsa 66ers - this is a great move. The 25-year old still has quite a bit of upside and it'll be great to watch him develop in the NBA.
Anderson was expected to join the team for tonight's game in Minnesota, but I've not seen a press release yet, so I can't confirm this.