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Pacers 1st Round Draft Possiblities: James Anderson

Now that the NBA Draft Lottery is out of the way, it's time to start profiling the Pacers possibilities for 1st Round picks. The profiles will follow the same format as my 2nd Rounders, with a little bit more detail.

The Pacers received the 10th pick in the Lottery, but several possibilities for trading down and/or acquiring multiple picks have been floating around. For that reason I'm going to examine anyone who might help the Pacers, and then discuss within the profile any steps which might need to be taken to acquire that player.

We have just over a month until the draft, so I'll try to get a profile out every day or two. Here's who we'll be looking at today:

James Anderson - SG/SF - 6' 5.75"  208lbs. - Oklahoma State University


Ten Important Stats - James Anderson

Pts/40 Reb/40 Ast/40 Stl/40 eFG% 3PT% FT% FT/40 Pts/Pos TO/Pos
26.2 6.8 2.8 1.6 53.0% 34.1% 81.0% 9.2 1.23 0.13

Strengths -

  • At 6' 5.75" with a 6' 8.5" wingspan, Anderson has solid size and length for an NBA wing.
  • Anderson is easily the most offensively polished wing prospect in this draft. He averaged an excellent 26.2 Points per 40, and accomplished this with a very versatile skill set. To begin with, he is an absolute knock down jump shooter. As the feature option for Oklahoma State he spent a large amount of time running off screens and finishing off cuts and curls. He has legitimate 3PT range, and is also an excellent jump shooter off the dribble. While not an incredible slasher, he is very patient and intelligent, picking his spots and using his jumper to set up the defense. In addition he is a very effective finisher at the basket and draws a high number of fouls.
  • Anderson has a very high Basketball IQ at the offensive end of the floor. He plays a very under control game. Despite being an incredibly high usage player he turns the ball over at a low rate, and rarely forces bad shots. He is not a terrific passer but is certainly capable of moving the ball within the offense, and finding the open man.

Weaknesses -

  • For all his offensive acumen, Anderson is very average at the defensive end of the floor. In man to man situations he struggles across the board, showing average footspeed, less than desirable fundamentals and an inability or unwillingness to use his length and physicality. It's true that as the Cowboys main option last season, he had to play a less aggressive brand of defense to avoid fouls and stay on the floor. It's possible that with a less focal offensive role in the NBA he may be able to recommit hiself at this end of the floor.
  • Anderson spent most of his college career as the central offensive option. There may be a transition period as he learns how to deal with fewer shots and better, more effective teammates.

How he can help the Pacers -

  • The Pacers' shooting guard rotation is anything but settled, with Brandon Rush still searching for consistency and Dahntay Jones frequently falling out of favor for his inability to space the floor on offense. Anderson could step in next season and provide a huge offensive boost to the Pacers' backcourt. He can function as a primary option for the second unit, running off screens, or as a spot up shooter and situational slasher if he plays with the starters. The team had a severe lack of shot creators and efficient scoring last season, Anderson's two biggest strengths.
  • Anderson's draft projections have continued to drop as other players have impressed in workouts. (Anderson pulled a hamstring, and I believe hasn't worked out since the Draft Combine.) He is now projected to go at the end of 1st Round which means he could be a great target if the Pacers are able to trade down and acquire multiple picks.

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