Remember the Vince Carter trade with New Jersey in June 2009? Well, from this day forward that trade should never again be addressed as the Carter trade. It was the Ryan Anderson trade.
“Vince [Carter] gives us a veteran, go-to scoring presence, especially at the end of games,” Magic general manager Otis Smith said in a statement. “Our goal remains the same — to win a championship. Any time you can add an All-Star to help you reach your goals, you have to do it. Vince has been a bonafide scorer in this league for 11 seasons and we are excited to add both him and Ryan [Anderson] to our team.”
65 words into Otis Smith’s quote on the trade, and in his closing, he mentions Ryan Anderson. He was a throw in.
After coming off the bench the last two seasons behind Rashard Lewis and Brandon Bass, Ryan has grabbed a hold of the starting PF position and is showing no signs of relinquishing it. As his minutes have improved over the course of the last 3 seasons (14, to 22, to 30mpg), so has his production. Once the Rashard Lewis for Gilbert Arenas trade went down last season, the depth chart opened up enough for Ryan to log minutes both at PF and C backing up Dwight Howard.
In a 24 game stretch immediately following the trades, Ryan averaged 15ppg and 7rebounds per game despite starting in just 5 of those games. While his numbers taper off as the season concluded, it was clear to most that Ryan deserved more playing time. Even Stan Van Gundy realized that he made a mistake in not playing more, something he admitted for the first time publicly last night:
“I know one mistake that I thought was that I did not play [Anderson] enough last year. I think that he helps other people, especially on the offensive end of the floor.”