Status for 2018-19: Club option exercised for $2,516,048
Anderson in 2017-18
Look no further than the old saying about the best ability being availability to describe Anderson’s season. The swingman simply wasn’t in uniform enough to prove his worth.
Anderson missed 23 straight games during a stretch from late November into early January with shin splints. He returned only to later be sidelined for eight more games in mid-February to early March by a sprained right ankle.
When Anderson was on the court, his production was a mixed bag. He has elite athleticism and continued to play physical defense on the perimeter. However, there was minimal progress in his offensive game.
Anderson took Brett Brown’s advice on shooting more three-pointers and his percentage jumped from 29.2 to 33.0 in 2017-18. But his points, rebounds, assists and field goal percentage all saw a dip as he played roughly eight fewer minutes a night.
Once Anderson was finally healthy again and ready to contribute, the Sixers had already revamped their bench.
Much like Anderson’s season as a whole, it took a while for him to produce a standout game. That came in the regular-season finale when he put up a team-high 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the field (5 of 12 from three-point range). He added six boards as the Sixers rolled over the Milwaukee Bucks for their 16th straight win.
Looking ahead to 2018-19
Anderson’s role will remain pretty much the same if his offense doesn’t catch up to the rest of his game. While he did improve his long-range shooting, “Simba” was still below the league average in that department.
The lack of consistency from Anderson on that end is one of the reasons the team went after sharp-shooting Marco Belinelli on the buyout market. Belinelli could return to absorb that role as primary bench scorer or the Sixers might seek another option to fill that job, whether Anderson develops the rest of his offensive game or not.
“Good for him. He's a wonderful teammate, he's good people and he's had sort of an erratic year with injury. I thought tonight he confirmed what we all think in relation to him being able to help us.”
- Brown on Anderson after a March 16 win over the Brooklyn Nets