Rockets Trade Rumors: Ryan Anderson Being 'Quietly' Shopped by Houston

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2018

PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 12: Ryan Anderson #33 of the Houston Rockets handles the ball during the game against the Phoenix Suns on January 12, 2018 at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)
Michael Gonzales/Getty Images

The Houston Rockets are "quietly gauging" the trade market for veteran forward Ryan Anderson prior to Thursday's NBA trade deadline, Kelly Iko of ESPN 97.5 in Houston reported Monday. 

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported last August the Rockets were looking to move Anderson in order to facilitate a trade for Carmelo Anthony. Ultimately, Anderson stayed in Houston, and Anthony landed with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Anderson is averaging 10.2 points and 5.4 rebounds, and he's shooting 37.9 percent from three-point range. Despite what he offers the Rockets offense, his poor defense largely cancels out his other contributions.

According to NBA.com, Houston's net rating improves by 7.3 points per 100 possessions when Anderson is off the floor. The Rockets' defensive rating improves from 107.2 to 100.9 as well.

At the time, Wojnarowski wrote Anderson's contract "remains problematic," and that largely remains the case. He still has two more years worth a little over $41.6 million left on his deal.

Simply based on salary alone, trading a player making $19.5 million this season isn't easy. Finding a team willing to take on the rest of Anderson's contract further complicates matters.

The Rockets don't have much in the way of sweeteners to entice a team to acquire Anderson. Houston already traded its 2018 first-round pick to help get Chris Paul. The team also sacrificed most of its valuable role players in order to add the All-Star point guard, thus limiting what general manager Daryl Morey could feasibly trade down the line.

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Of course, few expected Morey to be able to package together enough assets to get Paul. He'll need to get creative again in order to get Anderson's salary off the books and create enough space to pursue a marquee free agent in the summer.

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