Jan 30, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Toronto Raptors shooting guard Alan Anderson (6) heads to the basket against the Atlanta Hawks during the second quarter at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Alan Anderson: Bargain or Bust?

Alan Anderson has been a feel good story for the Toronto Raptors. On his eleventh team in eight years, Anderson is the classic journeyman: the workhorse veteran trying to make the most of his talent in a dog-eat-dog sport. As Brian Boake recently wrote, the Raptors brought him back

Jan 11, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Raptors forward Alan Anderson (6) keeps the ball away from Charlotte Bobcats guard Ben Gordon (8) at the Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Bobcats 99-78. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

to the NBA from Europe for just $850,000. That’s less than every Raptor’s salary save for Quincy Acy (second-round draft pick) and Mickael Pietrus. Given this paltry salary (one-third of Aaron Gray’s, one-sixth of Linas Kleiza’s and less than one-seventh of what we’re paying Landry Fields) and his solid production (12 points per game off the bench), Brian rightly championed his signing as a great move for the Raptors.

However, that was a few weeks ago and given AA’s recent run of sub-par performances, I think it’s time to take a look at just how (un)helpful he’s been for Toronto this season.

note: all statistics were derived from either hoopdata.com or basketball-reference.com

Exhibit A: Missed field goals up the wazoo. Anderson is shooting just 37 percent from the field. How bad is that? Among small forwards that average 25+ minutes per game, Anderson is dead last in shooting — 29th out of 29. Yes, he’s only averaging 25.5 minutes, but even among SFs that average 20+ minutes, he’s 40th out of 43. This, coupled with the fact that he takes 15.4 shots per 36 minutes (good for second on the Raptors if you discount Andrea Bargnani) amounts to one ugly conclusion: Alan Anderson is missing a ton of shots.

Exhibit B: Nonexistent rebounding. The missed shots might be somewhat familiar to Raptors fans, but Anderson’s complete and utter failure to rebound the basketball has, to my knowledge, slipped under the radar. To the numbers: Anderson is averaging 3.3 rebounds per 36 minutes–good for 371th in the league, worse than virtually all forwards and centers. On the Raptors, only John Lucas III averages fewer defensive rebounds per 36 minutes (and not by much). Anderson’s behind DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and everyone else on the squad besides Lucas. Also, since this is defensive rebounds, it eliminates the potential excuse of him being a shooter that plays on the perimeter.

So there: Anderson is rebounding at a harmfully low rate, and missing way too many shots. Also, he’s shooting just 33% from downtown–middling at best. Now, he does other things on the floor that don’t show up in rebound and shooting statistics. But I’ve laid out my argument for why he’s not nearly as effective as people think. In fact,  he might even be toxic to the Raptors’ offense (missed shots) and defense (no rebounding). Hit me with your best rebuttals!

Casey Sherman is a staff writer for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.

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