Now that Kevin Durant has dropped from the wish list for the Wizards with free agency set to open at the end of the week, Ryan Anderson is their next priority, multiple league sources tell CSNmidatlantic.com on Monday, and they'll make an aggressive move in hopes of securing the three-point shooting forward.
Anderson, a 6-10 free agent from the New Orleans Pelicans, averaged 17 points and six rebounds in 66 apperances last season. He shot 36.6% from three-point range and is the type of stretch option that could work better than Jared Dudley and Kris Humphries did in a disastrous 41-41 season.
The Wizards will have a lot of competition for Anderson's services. He may command in the range of $17 million in the open market, one league GM projected in an interview with CSN recently. At that number, however, it could be problematic for the Wizards' front office.
Anderson, 28, made $8.5 million last season and the salary cap is rising by $24 million, up to $94 million, for 2016-17.
At Februrary's trade deadline, Anderson was in the conversation -- he did have interest in being moved to D.C. -- but the Wizards opted to make a deal using their 2016 first-round pick with the Phoenix Suns for Markieff Morris instead. Morris is under contract through 2019 and making an average of $8 million. Anderson was not under contract and the Pelicans were demanding a first-round pick for him.
Anderson, sources tell CSN, likely won't make a decision until Durant makes his on whether or not to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder. Some of the teams that have their sights on Durant have Anderson high on their radars, too. This is why the price for Anderson is projected to rise but the Wizards will have about $30 million in cap room.
CSN reported earlier Monday that the team had interest in forward Darrell Arthur of the Denver Nuggets. They'll have about eight roster spots to fill so there are a lot of moving pieces in play. Their interest in Anderson, however, is much greater.