The Houston Rockets are shopping PF Ryan Anderson, and are being linked to talks with the Atlanta Hawks and the Miami Heat. Anderson, 30, is entering his 3rd year of a 4 year, $80 million deal he signed with Houston in 2016. Anderson saw both his minutes and play decline this past year, averaging 9.3 points, 5 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 26.2 minutes per game. Anderson was the starting power forward for most of his tenure in Houston so far, but did not play a ton in the playoffs and even received a couple DNP's. This was likely because of his below-average defense, as the Rockets decided to go with a smaller (but much better defensively) P.J. Tucker as their starting 4 instead.
Anderson has been in trade talks since the offseason began, and it has not been easy for the Rockets to deal him. Because of his big contract, teams are asking the Rockets for a 1st round pick and possibly a younger prospect to be attached in any deal involving Anderson. Realistically, the teams that can trade for him are going to be ones with cap room, or teams that have a player with equal value with an equally bad contract.
Houston is desperately searching for a wing to replace both Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, who both signed elsewhere in free agency. They did sign Carmelo Anthony, but they need another wing who can play good defense while also having a 3-point shot. This is where Atlanta and Miami come into place. There have been talks about Kent Bazemore being sent to Houston in exchange for Anderson, a 1st, and possibly 2018 draft pick De'Anthony Melton. Bazemore would be the ideal replacement for Ariza and would fit in seamlessly, while Atlanta would receive a young prospect, another pick, and Anderson, who could either be bought out or see some minutes playing behind John Collins. Meanwhile, Miami may be interested in unloading either James Johnson or Tyler Johnson's salary, as both of them would fit great in a back-up role at their respective positions. Either Johnson would likely command the same package as Bazemore would, and Miami would be able to still be in playoff contention if they make this trade. Another team to watch out for in Anderson talks: the Brooklyn Nets. DeMarre Carroll doesn't really fit into the Nets long-term plans, as they already have young wing players like Caris LeVert, Allen Crabbe, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson who should be getting more minutes. Because of Carroll's contract, the Rockets might not have to give up more than Anderson and a 2nd-round draft pick in order to obtain Carroll, who would fit in perfectly as a back-up 3&D small forward for Houston. The Nets could choose to buy-out Anderson and let him go play somewhere else, or use him in the rotation and have him compete for the starting power forward slot with Kenneth Faried. With all of these rumors floating around, it will be a shock if Anderson is still in a Rockets jersey when the season begins.