Posted by: Kingsguru21 | May 28, 2009

Pining for David Andersen

Look, I won’t be flip about this. David Andersen can play. Check out his time that he’s played over in Europe in the Spanish ACB as well as CSKA Moscow. There’s a recent entry on Draft Express that demonstrates potentially that he wants to come to the NBA. It’s very interesting. I may be the only guy whose greatly interested in him, but I don’t care.

I know a lot of Kings fans have sounded off on this topic already. Read this if you haven’t. (Great stuff Aykis.) Also, this summer scorecard by For Three is also well worth the read. (Equally Great stuff 4-3.)

Now, back onto topic. David Andersen. He’s not Brandon Bass, Marcin Gortat, Marvin Williams, Trevor Ariza. What he is is an athletic Australian whose played in the European Leagues over 10 years. He was drafted by the Hawks in 2002 (with the 36th overall pick), and they still have his rights. The problem is, when the Hawks made Billy Knight resign (or kept Mike Woodson), that when the Hawks changed GM’s (Rick Sund is there now) that it forced Andersen to sign a contract with Barcelona of the Spanish ACB. (He had been with CSKA Moscow, the team that Ettore Messina coaches currently.) When the Hawks changed managment, they didn’t want to let him go for nothing, but they weren’t sure about bringing him over. I know. It’s the Hawks. Not a surprise. Here’s the problem. Andersen wants to come over.

Today, Draft Express currently has Andersen 11th on the rights held rankings they have. (There are 6 people out of 30 older than 25. He’s the oldest. Fran Vazquez is another guy on that list, but he’s 26. To be fair he is also higher.) He’s 28 years old. He was drafted 7 years ago. If he was 22, he’d be likely 2nd or 3rd. The guy who is 1st is Josh Childress. 2nd on that list is Tiago Splitter. Most of those guys on that list were drafted in the late 1st round, with Childress being the exception. (Childress is also the only major rotation NBA player and will have teams after him. I would be shocked if the Clippers didn’t make a big play for him over the summer. I wonder how the Hawks will respond.)

In a way, it’s almost a shame Childress didn’t take the tender offer and played out the year with the Hawks. He would be an un-restricted FA, and the Clippers could have signed him without any interference from the Hawks. I wonder if the Hawks would be interested in trading Thornton for Childress though. Oh well. For another day I suppose. This is about David Andersen.

Sorry about the aside. I just thought it was interesting that 2 of the more intriguing European players, Childress and Andersen, have gained interest by NBA teams, and yet they were both a bit stuck.

Back to Andersen, and make no mistake, Andersen’s situation is tough. The Hawks don’t want to give him up & see him succeed. And they don’t want to trade him and get burned. I really hate this, but I can’t blame them really. They’re so stupid, and yet they know it. Talk about the ultimate catch 22.

This is what Andersen had to say on May 3rd:

Andersen didn’t hesitate to indicate his interest in playing for the Atlanta Hawks, or any other team that might be interested in his services. He did seem a bit frustrated by the predicament he’s in, thought, with his NBA rights essentially being held hostage by the Atlanta Hawks.

“I just wish they would give me a straight answer either way. Every year it’s the same thing. If they want me, great, but if not, I would like to go play somewhere else. I can’t force the tender and go play on a non-guaranteed minimum contract, but I don’t think I’m asking for crazy money either.”

Sounds like a guy terribly unrealistic about his chances in the NBA. Andersen knows he’s either going to be a career European player, and there’s no shame in that. It’s just that Andersen is 28, and wants to challenge himself. Has wanted to for years.

So here’s the idea. If the Kings trade their 31st overall pick, and 2 future 2nd round picks for Andersen. I think that’s fair compensation value. I wonder if the Hawks will.

Here’s the real kicker. You can sign him above a 2nd round pick scale if you have cap room. Which, the Kings in all likelihood probably will.

But I haven’t gotten to the best part. He’s 6’10. He’s athletic (still). He’s long. He blocks shots. He rebounds pretty well. Look at his stats. Look at the basic stats, and the pace adjusted stats. (Both are included in the link for basic stats. Just scroll down for the 40 mins pace adjusted stats.) That’s awesome stuff. It’s not like this guy has played for crap teams either. Virtus Bologna is generally one of the better Italian League teams. So is CSKA Moscow (Hell they played in the Euroleague Final Game against Panathaikos and lost by 2 points.) Ditto with Regal FC Barcelona.

But here’s the best part. He can actually get out of his contract! Read this:

Andersen has another year on his deal with Barcelona, but has a clear NBA escape clause in his contract that that he can exercise until July 15th. That is a difficult situation for Barcelona, as they will be in serious limbo until that point—essentially the very tail end of the signing period for elite European clubs, where there will likely be few if any big men of Andersen’s caliber on the market. Barcelona has an option to buy out Andersen’s contract, and may be forced to do so if they feel like they cannot wait on the NBA to act.

If the Kings gave up their 31st pick this year, and a couple 2nd rounders for Andersen, that’s the type of risk they can afford to do. Andersen can get out of his contract for free! That won’t cost the Maloof’s any more dollars to sign him than it would. And they won’t have to until they have cap room! So why wouldn’t they do that?

This is the whole point of the situation:

This situation really goes a long ways in emphasizing the challenges that players in Europe often face when being drafted by NBA teams in the second round, as they are essentially able to hold their rights perpetually without any recourse on the part of the players. This may be something that the NBA Players Association may want to look at in the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement, as it would probably be much more fair to put a three year limit in which teams can either sign their draft pick or be forced to relinquish their rights. Unfortunately the players that make up the union will likely have very little sympathy for the cause of European draftees who are essentially competing for their jobs.

Let me add to what Givony is really saying. NBA American players don’t want any more competition from players around the World than they already have. The NBA used to be a completely exclusive deal for Americans. Now it’s a World game. The NBA has had major stars come from other countries, and those NBA players who play with them don’t care. The NBA, and the World Stars succeeding here, have been so successful that it was largely a reason why FIBA ended up deciding to shorten the lane under the basket. But, for a guy like Andersen who is likely to be a role player, they definitely do not.

I wish I could email Geoff Petrie, Jason Levien, Wayne Cooper, Jerry Reynolds, the whole Maloof familly to try and make it happen. I don’t have to tell anyone who is reading this the above don’t know who he is. They do. All they have to do is contact his agent, and tell him they’ve made a deal for that 31st overall pick.

I would venture to bet that Andersen is a damn sight better than whoever the Kings would probably get at the 31st pick. It’s a risk yes, but one of the best European Big Men is a damn good risk. I would be very disappointed if the Kings couldn’t get something done here. Very disappointed. I wish I had written this on May 5th in fact. Shows you how smart I am.



  1. I did not know this guy existed until today, but I love the idea of an athletic center who’s fully developed and ready to contribute, cheap, and doesn’t threaten Hawes’s seemingly fragile psyche about being the number one center.

    • I don’t know about how cheap Andersen will be. I could see the Kings signing him to a 3 year 10 million dollar contract. He would be worth that. I could also see the Hawks doing that.

      Either way, we’ll see. Thanks for reading furious.

      • Thank you for providing another forum. I like what you’ve done with the place.

        • Also Furious, thanks for reading.

        • Anything you can think of that I can make it better, please provide any thoughts, critical or otherwise. Email is always available. I’m going to have to change my avatar soon to accurately provide this information.

          Also, if you want my email, my SBN profile has it there.

  2. I like Andersen, but 3 years at 10 million? Yikes. Might be a bit steep for a backup Center/PF?

    However, I think his abilities will translate well to the NBA game and I also think he would be a good pickup. Although, I would bet he would rather play somewhere other than Sacramento at this stage in his career.

    What is a shame to me is Tiago Splitter. I have always like the Spurs (something about Tim Duncan and his quiet-efficiency make me giddy) and I always thought that an athletic shotblocker/faceup guy like Splitter would have been great next to TD but his damn rookie scale contract and the money he makes in Europe just cannot compete. Shame, he would be fun to watch in the NBA.

    • Judging by the quote, it seems like he just wants a shot at this point. Actually Sacramento might be ideal for him, since there’s plenty of opportunity for minutes up front. I’m glad I’m aware of him now. It’ll be interesting to see what (if anything) happens this summer.

      • What it takes to get Andersen may be the goal. After writing this (I swear I was literally jizzing just at the thought of the Kings getting Rubio, Brown and Andersen), I also thought it make something simpler than anything I’ve suggested. A future 1st round pick.

        You mention, sellout, Splitter. Andersen is probably in the same caliber of player Splitter is. Seriously. He’s just older. The Spurs won’t give up the rights to Splitter. I imagine that the Spurs might consider giving him a big contract in 2010 just to finally get him over. That might be better than a free agent.

        That’s partly why I think the Kings should go after Andersen. A low 1st round pick could satisfy the Hawks into giving him up. He’s only 28 years old. It’s not like he has a 15 year career in front of him.

        It’s a risk, but from where I stand a very reasonable risk.

      • Furious, anything you know now is better than what you don’t know before.

        I agree that Sacramento could be ideal for him, but quite honestly, so could the Hawks. That’s something I didn’t write, and was something I was terrified to write about.

        I just have no respect for Rick Sund after what he did in Seattle, and I think it’s a shame that he’s now the GM of the Hawks. That franchise takes 2 steps, and then takes 3 back.

        For all the crap I’ve given the Maloof’s, those criticism’s pale in comparisons to half the ownership around the NBA. Easily half the NBa.

  3. […] regards to David Andersen, I mentioned in my last piece he’s athletic. Watch […]

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