When the NFL season begins every fall, Alan Anderson’s body starts talking to him. The summer break is over, NBA training camps are right around the corner and the itch to start balling for real takes over.
As his 35th birthday looms around the corner in October, Anderson is still looking for a team this time around. The eight-year pro believes he has another season left in him and is quietly hoping his hometown Minnesota Timberwolves might be the team to give him a chance.
”It’d mean everything,” Anderson told The Associated Press on Thursday in a phone conversation from Las Vegas, where he is working out. ”My mom is there. My brother is there. Childhood friends are there. When I play, I put my whole heart in. What do they say? Home is there the heart is? Minneapolis is my home. So if I’m playing for my home, it would be that much more special.”
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Anderson has played for five teams in his eight seasons. The 6-foot-6 swingman played 30 games for the Los Angeles Clippers last season, but said he feels better than he has in three years after finally getting past an ankle injury that required multiple surgeries. There have been conversations with a few teams throughout the offseason, but with training camps set to open on Saturday for the Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors, and Tuesday for the rest of the league, he is still waiting for that call.
”I know I’m not going to play 30 minutes a night, I don’t expect that,” Anderson said. ”I just expect to be there when they do need me, when somebody needs a breather. I can still play.”
The Timberwolves are a little thin on the wing with starters Andrew Wiggins and Jimmy Butler, the recently re-signed Shabazz Muhammad and Jamal Crawford figuring to get the bulk of the playing time. They lost out to New Orleans in an effort to bring Dante Cunningham back to Minnesota earlier this week, but it remains to be seen if they have any real interest in Anderson.
The Wolves contacted Anderson on the opening night of free agency on July 1, saying they could look to bring him in on a minimum contract. They brought him to their practice facility for a workout with several other free agents earlier this month as well, but have yet to reach out to fully engage in contract talks. They currently are prioritizing bringing in another point guard, likely Aaron Brooks, above looking for another wing.
Anderson is open to the idea of joining any team that is interested, but it’s clear there is a soft spot in his heart for the Wolves.
”Who wouldn’t want to come back to where their roots started at?” Anderson said. ”Be the role model, someone visible who came out of that city and state for kids to see and touch and understand that it’s possible.”