2014 NBA Redraft: 20. Kyle Anderson, Toronto Raptors
Even after five full seasons in the NBA, figuring out exactly who Kyle Anderson is on the court is still no easy task. He’s built like a prototypical small forward with long arms, but an unorthodox play style has left him to find a spot in this league on his own.
As a sophomore at UCLA, Anderson was a tremendous all-around threat, averaging 14.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game. Those numbers were enough to just sneak him into the first round as the 30th overall pick to the San Antonio Spurs.
The majority of NBA ballhandlers prefer to go as fast as they can. The quicker one can get to the bucket, the more likely it is they score. Nicknamed Slo-Mo, Anderson has proven different. Rarely does he hit the gas at any point in time, preferring instead to survey the court and weigh all his options. It’s been quite the contrast to witness compared to some of the athletic phenoms the league currently has but it’s one that’s clearly served him well.
In 2019, teams are throwing out lineups smaller than ever before, which essentially includes sliding every player down one position for maximum effectiveness. Anderson spent four years in San Antonio and one season with the Memphis Grizzlies. Neither squad dabbled much in that experiment, slotting him at the power forward for just 27.0 percent of his total minutes.
He’s not a good outside shooter at 32.4 percent, nor does he explore that shot very often with less than one attempt per game. The Grizzlies should look to play him at the power forward in order to exploit his point guard-like IQ for better opportunities.
Anderson’s numbers of 8.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists last season aren’t much to get excited about. It’s hard for him to find his sweet-spot when the NBA is all about traits he doesn’t offer. Maybe even just a respectable 3-point shot could do wonders for him and truly bring to light one of the most non-traditional players in the game today.