Ryan Anderson's Bright Future?

While the Orlando Magic put the finishing touches on a roster that has seen noticeable changes since the off-season began, I wanted to hone in on one of the individuals that will be making a new home in the City Beautiful - Ryan Anderson

 

When Anderson first arrived to the Magic via trade, not a lot of local fans knew much about him. Anderson quickly changed that when he performed well in the Orlando Pro Summer League, showcasing his skills to a bevy of NBA coaches (including Stan Van Gundy), front office personnel, scouts, and others. Offensively, it was Anderson's diverse game that stood out the most. 

 

David Thorpe of ESPN.com & Scouts Inc. stated to me that Anderson's skill-set reminded him, a bit, of Rashard Lewis. Thorpe is a highly-respected NBA scribe, and for him to pay Anderson that type of compliment speaks to the type of player he can be. Given that comparison, I decided to reach out to Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus and see what Anderson's similarity score looks like, at this point, in his career. Pelton's SCHOENE projection system is a useful tool to compare players to other players and try to map out what the future may lie for someone like Anderson.

 

Here's what the data indicates:

 

 

Player

Sim

Season

Team

Vladimir Radmanovic

96.8

2002

sea

Tim Thomas

95.6

1998

phi

Rudy Gay

94.1

2007

mem

Martell Webster

94.0

2008

por

Dirk Nowitzki

92.7

1999

dal

Rashard Lewis

92.5

2000

sea

Joe Johnson

92.0

2002

pho

Quentin Richardson

91.9

2001

lac

Antoine Walker

91.7

1997

bos

Jason Richardson

91.3

2002

gsw

 

The list is impressive, sporting perimeter-oriented individuals who vary in skill level; ranging from role players, All-Stars, and even a former MVP. It's clear that the numbers indicate Ryan Anderson has a bright future in the NBA and when you take into the account the fact his similarity score is more impressive than Courtney Lee, one has to feel good about the type of player general manager Otis Smith acquired. It looks like the California product has a chance to become a starter for a long time.

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