J.J. Redick invited his former teammate Ryan Anderson on to his podcast on Monday (HT: The Advocate) to talk about his mindset going into free agency this summer, where he'll be one of the most sought-after players. During their conversation, Anderson talked about his decision not to demand a trade during the season and how it affects his plans going into free agency:
I don't want to count any option out. Returning to New Orleans, going somewhere else. For me, I want to play all the cards, I want to enjoy this process, and see where New Orleans is at this summer. I want to see where, I don't know, Houston is at, or Sacramento, or Washington. So for me, I'm not going to say "Listen, I want a trade." when I don't know what's going to happen this summer.
I tried to stay clear, I tried to separate from the scenario. Wherever I end up, I end up. That's the way you have to look at it because you're not in control.
It's worth noting Houston, Sacramento and Washington were all teams that were reportedly expressed interest in making a trade at the deadline for him, so perhaps that's why he mentioned those teams specifically, though they'll probably all still have interest in him this summer when they can sign him to a long-term deal. It's also worth noting Anderson grew up in the Sacramento area, so that could certainly make a difference as he considers his options this summer.
Later in the podcast, he talked about his top priority entering free agency:
You want it to be a place where you enjoy going to work every day, you enjoy playing basketball. I think I said this at least to myself, I want to make a promise to myself to go somewhere, wherever it is, where I can be used to my maximum ability and have freedom to play and be used in a system to where I feel valued. I think any basketball player wants to feel valued.
Especially in basketball, when you have a choice, you want to go somewhere where you fit the mold of a player that they want. That's the number one priority, even if I'm going to Turkey to go play with Hedo [Turkoglu].
You'd think with John Wall on the roster and Scott Brooks as the coach, Ryan Anderson would fit in well in Washington. If Brooks was able to develop Serge Ibaka into a viable stretch-4, just think what he could do with someone like Anderson.
Yes, the Wizards already invested in Markieff Morris to address their issues at the 4 spot, but he doesn't fix all the team's issues there. Morris can shoot threes, but he's not exceptional at them at this point in his career. he shot just 31.6 percent from beyond the arc after joining the team. Adding Anderson would give the team a player who can provide more shooting and versatility at that position. Besides, Morris is on a very cheap deal so the Wizards can afford to splurge a little bit on depth if they strike out on some of the bigger names in free agency.
Odds are, Anderson will still price out a little bit above what the Wizards can reasonably afford to pay him given the market and how many positions the team will need to fill. Still, it's good to hear there's still some interest as Washington preps for what promises to be a very active offseason.