Could Sacramento Kings take on Ryan Anderson’s contract?

Dec 14, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Ryan Anderson (3) dribbles the ball as Sacramento Kings guard Garrett Temple (17) defends during the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

As we near the start of free agency, the Sacramento Kings have reportedly emerged as a possible landing spot for current Houston Rockets forward Ryan Anderson.

While the Sacramento Kings have their eye on the future, the start of free agency has them forced to look at the present.

Armed with a plentiful amount of cap space, the Kings have very few spots to fill, but have clear needs to address on their roster during this upcoming free agency period. As such, navigating through the waters of free agency will be an interesting proposition for a Kings team looking to add a needed veteran presence without sacrificing much of their flexibility.

One way they may look to use some of that cap space is to take on big contracts, like in the case of Houston Rockets forward Ryan Anderson. While detailing the Rockets’ pursuit of Los Angeles Clippers star Chris Paul, ESPN’s Marc Stein made a note of the Kings emerging as a team to take on Anderson and the rest of his sizeable contract:

“Sources say Houston has been focused on trying to find a team with cap space to take on Anderson — such as Sacramento — in hopes of potentially creating up to $28.5 million in room under the cap.”

If the Kings wanted to make this a reality, it wouldn’t be the first time they had an interest in attaining Anderson, as they were reportedly pursuing him last summer before he settled on signing a four-year, $80 million deal with the Rockets. Of course, Anderson also has ties to the city of Sacramento since he was born there.

With the Rockets needing to shed serious cap space, Anderson is one of a few players reportedly being dangled on the trade market, along with Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams.

At this time of writing, it is not yet known the level of interest the Kings have in possibly adding Anderson.

Of course, taking on a contract of Anderson’s magnitude would likely incentivize the Kings in possibly getting an asset such as a draft pick along with the 29-year-old sharpshooter as we’ve regularly seen in situations like this in the past.

Beyond the financial ramifications of the possible move, much of the appeal in Anderson in regards to his fit with the Kings still applies, even a year later.

In the 72 games he played last season for the Rockets, Anderson scored 13.6 points per game and enjoyed one of the best shooting seasons of his career, going by his three-point percentage (40.3 percent), effective field goal percentage (55 percent) and true shooting percentage (58.3 percent).

Although the Kings’ roster and general outlook has dramatically changed in the time since then, only one true power forward currently stands on the team’s depth chart in Skal Labissiere. Just this month alone, Rudy Gay officially declined his player option and the Kings elected to waive Anthony Tolliver ahead of his salary being fully guaranteed for next season.

With major minutes to be had at the 4-spot, Anderson would increase the level of shooting on the Kings’ roster with his ability to stretch the floor from incredible ranges, and he’d be a great target in transition for a player like rookie De’Aaron Fox to play alongside.

On the flip side, while Anderson’s defensive deficiencies are well known and are only going to trend downward as he gets older, having him alongside a mobile defender like Willie Cauley-Stein would make some sense in that aspect as well.

As you can tell, we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves here. In any event, this will surely be something to keep an eye on in the days to follow with free agency buzz starting to heat up in a major way.

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