The Raptors officially re-signed Alan Anderson on Monday, with the deal said to be for the NBA’s veteran minimum.

Anderson was one of the surprisingly competent 10-day contract players Toronto brought in towards the end of last season, and while many of us believed Ben Uzoh might be the 10-day player that eventually stuck with the team, Anderson should be fine in what appears to be a role as roughly the team’s 14th man, providing depth at the wings.

Anderson, who will turn 30 in October, has spent parts of three seasons in the NBA between the Bobcats and Raptors. He’s averaged 6.7 points in 18 minutes per game over 70 career appearances, averaging a career-high 9.6 points in 17 games with the Raptors this past Spring while playing 27 minutes per night.

While Anderson’s career shooting percentage of 41.3 is abysmal, he’s actually a solid three-point shooter, converting on over 39 per cent of his attempts last season and 38.1 per cent of three-point attempts in his career.

I’m not so much up for a discussion about Anderson himself as much as I’m up for a discussion about what this signing means for the Raptors, and what it means is that barring a Calderon trade or an unexpected late move, we probably now have the 14-man roster that will head to Halifax for training camp in October.

Point Guard: Kyle Lowry, Jose Calderon, John Lucas III

Shooting Guard: DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross, Alan Anderson (DeRozan, Fields, Ross and Anderson will see some time between the two and three, filling the team’s “wing” minutes)

Small Forward: Landry Fields, Linas Kleiza, Quincy Acy

Power Forward: Andrea Bargnani, Ed Davis, Amir Johnson

Centre: Jonas Valanciunas, Aaron Gray (Amir will probably get some minutes at the five, as will Bargnani)

If Bryan Colangelo sticks with this group to start the season, we’ll see a deeper team from the one that started last season, a more natural defensive team than the one that started last season, but yet one that should still improve offensively.

When you consider that over the span of a year, Kyle Lowry, John Lucas III, Terrence Ross, Landry Fields, Alan Anderson, Quincy Acy and Jonas Valanciunas have replaced Jerryd Bayless, Anthony Carter, Leandro Barbosa, Gary Forbes, James Johnson, Rasual Butler, Jamaal Magloire and Solomon Alabi, I think it’s fair to say that this roster has improved at the point, at the wings, and in the middle.

With a new head coach coming in without a proper pre-season and training camp, a slew of injuries to their few key players, and an overall mix of some very questionable/tanking-level talent, the Raptors finished 2011-2012 on pace for 28.6 wins over a full 82-game schedule.

The group we’re currently looking at can contend for an Eastern Conference playoff spot if they stay healthy and things bounce their way, but I think a realistic expectation is somewhere in the range of 35 wins. That would likely give the Rockets a lottery pick somewhere between No. 8 and No. 12 in what is expected to be a pretty weak draft.

If Lowry plays up to his capabilities, the trade will turn out well for the Raptors, and the team should be able to move forward with an intriguing mix of young talent and some financial flexibility next summer.

I’m not sold on this Raptors squad as a playoff team just yet, but looking at things with 14 signed players on July 30, I am sold on the fact that we’ll see a much better basketball team this season, and one that will be much more exciting and enjoyable to watch.

Comments (21)

  1. i still think we need maybe one more centre JUST for reassurance (it wouldn’t hurt)

  2. Quincy Acy is a 4. Don’t know why you put him on the wing.

    The Raps will be in the hunt for the playoffs all year (6-8) bearing any injuries. I think you are underestimating Casey and the job he did last season. We overachieved with average play at the point, awful play at the wing, and Bargnani was gone for 3/4′s of the year.

    Add a premier PG in Lowry, improved Demar(with more uptempo game), full year of Bargnani, improvement at the 3 with Fields who defends/rebounds well and 2 guys who fit needs on this team (Ross with his shooting, Val with his length/rebounding).

    This team is going to surprise people next year because the East is wide open after Boston and Miami.

    • Acy is a forward. He might see minutes at three in bit of a bigger lineup. I threw him in at SF, but didn’t include him as a “wing.” You can be a small forward without being a wing player. Kleiza is a good example.

      I definitely don’t underestimate Dwane Casey’s impact, and as I said, I can see this team as currently constructed making the playoffs. I’ll make a formal prediction in October once we see what all 30 teams will look like, but for right now, I say 35 is more realistic than say 40-45.

      In terms of the East, I do agree that it could be wide open after the top two or three teams, but I’d put Indiana in there.

  3. A sg and sf is a wing. Kleiza is a small forward and is a wing player. I could understand if you put Kleiza at the 4 if they want to go small but his traditional is position is a 3 aka wing aka small forward. Obviously Acy is a forward but he is not a small forward (where you put him under), you won’t see him playing SF anytime during the season.

    So far it looks like it will play out like this:

    Lowry – Calderon – Lucas
    Demar – Ross
    Fields – Kleiza – Anderson
    Bargnani – Ed Davis – Acy
    Amir/Grey (starting for first half of season) – Val (second half)

    • I think you’re generalizing an unofficial position (the “wing”). I usually consider players that can play both the 2 and 3 as “wings.” Kleiza is a forward to me, usually a small forward, sometimes a power forward, but a pure forward nonetheless. So he’s not a wing by my interpretation.

    • Ya Acy is a 4 or 5-nothing else. Can’t wait to see him go get it.

  4. His main position is at the 3 though. He plays mostly on the perimeter but at times can play some small 4.

    My argument anyway was that Acy should be under Power Forward not SF, for obvious reasons.

  5. Do the Raptors even have a long term plan at this point?

    Sure there’s room for some improvement on this roster, but not “we can win a title” level improvement.

    Granted it’s silly to assume the roster will look anything like this three seasons from now, given what Colangelo does every offseason.

    • As a Raps fan I\m happy with the improvements, but you can’t expect Colangelo to construct a team that can compete with OKC and Miami, at least I’d rather be 8th than 12th

      • I’m not sure why there’s always this insistence among Colangelo backers that we can’t expect him to field a contender. He has just as much time / money as most other GM’s in the league, so why not? It’s certainly not like it’s impossible.

        • Because Colangelo backers have very little to hang their hat on at this point in time.

          The perpetual selling of hope and excuse making is the culture of the Raps now. Colangelo has done his best to create this.

          God forbid we as fans actually expect one of the highest paid GM’s in the league to you know…..actually build a good team! lol

  6. I would put very little (if any) stock into the Raptors prorated win total from last season. We won’t have league wide tanking to that extent again this season but there’s no doubt that the team is much improved and they’ll be trying to put their best foot forward every night.

    That 35-37 win range you hinted at with a 40-42 win ceiling along with a low playoff berth sounds about right and the upside is there to be a Memphis/Atlanta type of team.

  7. I doubt Anderson will see any time on the floor. The wing position are alreay full.

  8. Couldn’t have said it better myself on the Landry Fields acquisition and what he brings to this team.

    Now I’m not saying that Landry will be better or is a better player then Andre Iquadala but remember Iggy averages 13pts and 6reb a game with great D and is getting paid 15 mil per year. If Landry can come in and give us 10-11pts with 6-7 rebounds with solid D, I don’t see how 6.3 mil for him is bad. For me, I would look at it as great value. He just has to go out and show it next year which I’m pretty confident he will with no Carmelo on this team.

    People complaining about this signing are morons because BC didn’t get the so called ‘home run trade or signing’. Guys wanted Rudy Gay/Granger/Iggy. Give me a break, those guys weren’t available and even if they were, we woulda had to give up young players like Demar and Ed. Doesn’t make sense especially if those guys leave after their contracts and then we are back into tanking/rebuilding.

  9. Players on this team are so versatile, most of them can play different positions.

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