|Team: NON-NBA College Team: Villeurbanne|
H: 6' 11"|
W: 242 lbs
(35 Years Old)
|Agent: Kenny Grant ||
High School: Australian Institute of Sport
Hometown: Carlton, Australia
Drafted: Pick 36 in 2002 by Hawks
In the awkwardly unnecessary 3rd/4th place game previous to the final, Barcelona managed to easily knock off a very jaded Olympiacos squad, in large part due to another terrific outing by Australian big man David Andersen, with 20 points in 26 minutes, on 8-12 shooting (3/5 3P). Although this wasn't the most competitive setting you'll find, Andersen still did a nice job showcasing his excellent skill-level, primarily in the form of his jump-shot, knocking down an array of spot-up, pull-up, turnaround and pick and pop jumpers, in the post, from 18-20 feet, and all the way out beyond the 3-point line.
After the game, we managed to catch up with Andersen in the VIP area, which gave us an opportunity to pick his brain on where he stands in terms of the NBA.
Andersen didnít 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 heís in, thought, with his NBA rights essentially being held hostage by the Atlanta Hawks.
ďI just wish they would give me a straight answer either way. Every year itís the same thing. If they want me, great, but if not, I would like to go play somewhere else. I canít force the tender and go play on a non-guaranteed minimum contract, but I donít think Iím asking for crazy money either.Ē
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 pointóessentially the very tail end of the signing period for elite European clubs, where there will likely be few if any big men of Andersenís caliber on the market. Barcelona has an option to buy out Andersenís contract, and may be forced to do so if they feel like they cannot wait on the NBA to act.
Whatís most unfortunate for Andersen is that he had already received assurances from former Hawks GM Billy Knight that they would bring him over to the NBA last summer, but that plan went to naught once he was fired and replaced by Rick Sund, who said he needed another year to evaluate him. The Hawks have apparently had multiple teams try to acquire Andersen in a trade, but have been reluctant to deal him for fear that he may make them look foolish in another teamís uniform. Based on the way Andersen has looked here in Berlin, thatís a legitimate possibility.
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.
Also deserving of a quick mention is the outstanding play of David Andersen, who looked particularly motivated going up against his former team CSKA Moscow, who he decided to leave this summer. Andersen scored 24 points in 34 minutes, going 6/6 inside the arc and 3/6 from outside, to go along with 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Andersen, who weíve believed is a sure-fire NBA rotation player for a number of years now, put his entire offensive arsenal on display, scoring on tough post-up moves inside the paint, some beautiful turnaround jumpers, by attacking the basket from the perimeter, making a handful of 3-pointers, finishing pick and rolls, and converting on pick and pop plays. It was a very impressive display, and would make a DVD that Atlanta Hawks GM Rick Sund would be wise to get a hand on.[Read Full Article]
-David Andersen (#11 on rights held ranking) decided to leave CSKA Moscow for the much more comfortable living standards of Barcelona, and is playing similarly to when we last wrote about him. The Atlanta Hawks decided to change management right when Andersenís contract expired last summer, and he in turn signed a three year contract with Barcelona for 2 million Euro per season. That might close the book on his NBA chances.[Read Full Article]
Although he isnít playing quite as well as he was when we last wrote about him in February (in extreme depth), David Andersen is still having a career year in CSKA, and will be relied on heavily to help his team win one last Euroleague championship before they probably all go their separate ways. Itís been widely reported that CSKA head coach Ettore Messina will be leaving Moscow for Barcelona when the season is over.
Andersen is in the last year of his contract himself, according to his agent Kenny Grant, and media reports in Atlanta indicate that Billy Knight and the Hawks have spoken about finally bringing him over this season, seven years after they drafted him in the second round. It will be interesting to see if Knight shows up to watch Andersen in Madrid. There is no question that he can play in the NBA right now, and he would probably actually be a terrific compliment to Al Horford on both ends of the floor.
After a bit of an off-year by his standards last season (10 points, 5 rebounds per game, 46% FG), David Andersen has bounced back as strong as ever in 07/08, having what might be considered a career-year at the ripe age of 27. Heís also doing it while playing for arguably the best team in all of Europe. Andersen was forced to step up to the plate following the serious injuries suffered by fellow CSKA big men Matjaz Smodis and Alexey Savrasenko, which has made him something of a go-to guy for the Russian powerhouse this season.
Looking at his physical tools, itís not hard to see why he was drafted with the #37 pick in 2002. Showing great size, a terrific frame, solid strength, and solid athleticism, Andersen would have had no problem competing in the NBA had the Atlanta Hawks ever decided to bring him over. Heís a fluid and highly coordinated big man on top of that, capable of getting to where he needs to on the floor and looking highly reactive to things that occur around him.
Offensively, the impression that weíre looking at an NBA caliber big man only increases when evaluating with the terrific versatility that Andersen displays. Weíre talking about an ambidextrous player who produces both in the low post as well as facing the basket, and can also do some things in between as well. Andersen has some raw back to the basket skills, being capable of backing his man down to a certain extent and finishing with a pretty jump-hook with either hand, or a phenomenal turnaround jumper. He has excellent touch here, but isnít the toughest big man youíll find around, and thus has problems finishing in traffic at times, especially when faced with contact.
Facing the basket is where Andersen looks more comfortable, as you can tell by the phenomenal percentage he shoots from behind the 3-point line, an astounding 61%. His mid-range jumper is also excellentóheís very dangerous on the pick and pop--and if there was any doubt about his touch, consider that he shoots an amazing 91% from the free throw line. He can also put the ball on the floor, not showing the greatest first step, but just serving as another weapon he has at his disposal to keep the defense honest. Heís also an excellent passer, evidenced by his positive assist to turnover ratio. Generally speaking, heís a mistake free player who seems to know his role on the floor and is very efficient on top of that.
As far as weaknesses are concerned, you have to start with his defense, which is incredibly poor. He shows very little in the ways of fundamentals here, not being physical at all trying to deny his man space, showing average awareness defending the pick and roll, and looking pretty soft in general on this end of the floor. Heís not a shot-blocking threat at all, and just isnít much of a presence in the paint in general, something that opposing teams seem to take advantage of if they have a strong back to the basket player they can throw the ball to. Heís also just an OK rebounder.
Even with that said, there is no reason in the world why Andersen couldnít play in the NBA if he wanted to. Considering the type of big men that Atlanta Hawks fans had to suffer through over the past few seasons, it almost seems negligible that they didnít even explore this option when theyíve held his draft rights for so long, which is exactly what has happened as weíve been told. Even with Al Horford and Shelden Williams in the mix now, Andersen would still probably be a good fit, as he seems to compliment both of them fairly well. Itís not clear what it would take to get a deal done financially considering that he plays for probably the richest team in Europe, but itís still definitely a conversation worth having. At age 27, he still has quite a bit left in the tank.
David Andersen had a so-so showing in Athens, with a good semifinal where he netted multiple mid-range shots (spot-up and turnaround ones) and crashed the boards for rebounds (also taking advantage of Unicajaís weak frontcourt), but shrank in the decisive game, never being able to overcome Panathinaikosí defense while getting overwhelmed on defense by his opponentsí aggressiveness. The Aussie looked a bit soft in this event.[Read Full Article]