Josh Newman, Field ReporterAs the free agency days of July began to wind down, it became clear to newly-acquired Nets shooting guard Alan Anderson that a multi-year, big-money contract offer was not going to come. This, despite a breakout 2012-13 season that saw Anderson average 10.7 points in 65 games for the Toronto Raptors.
Anderson had found his way back to the NBA after several highly-productive years in some of Europe’s better basketball leagues. His 2012-13 season all but secured the fact that he would have an NBA future, but without the big money or multiple years, it was going to come down to what he would settle for.
Once the veteran’s minimum was in play, Anderson decided, at the age of 30, it was time to win something.
“If I was gonna take the minimum, I was gonna take it on the best team that wanted me,” Anderson said via conference call on Wednesday afternoon. “The Nets were by far the best team that was trying to sign me, but I had other offers from teams that were offering more money, but the fit wasn’t the right for for me. I’m not getting younger and I want to win. I’m a winner.”
Anderson agreed to a two-year contract at the veteran’s minimum with the second year a player option, giving him some flexibility should he be able to play as well as he did last season. The acquisition of Anderson gives the Nets 15 players under contract for 2013-14 and should all but complete the roster barring trades or any unforeseen circumstances.
Despite the veteran’s minimum salary, Anderson will cost the Nets approximately $4 million next season once the luxury tax is taken into account.
Anderson, generally viewed as a tough perimeter defender while capable of being a productive offensive piece in spots, will be part of a very deep Nets bench that will include Jason Terry, Andrei Kirilenko, Andray Blatche and Shaun Livingston among others.
“I’m just gonna do what I do best and that’s come in the game and bring in energy, whether that’s playing defense, rebounding, scoring, creating,” Anderson said. “Whatever it is, just do it and do it at a high, intense level. Our roster is so deep, some nights I might not play and some nights, I might play a lot. It’s a team thing and we have one goal, which is to win.”
The Nets are getting a player with an outstanding pedigree who has been a winner for much of his career. A 110-game starter for head coach Tom Izzo and perennial national title contender Michigan State, Anderson helped lead the Spartans to the Final Four as a senior in 2005.
Anderson went undrafted, but caught on briefly with the Charlotte Bobcats, playing in 53 games between the 2006 and 2007 seasons. Between that time and being signed by the Raptors for the final 17 games of 2011-12 and all of last season, Anderson played in some of the highest levels of Europe. Among other spots, he played a year with Israeli power Maccabi Tel Aviv and Spanish heavyweight FC Barcelona.
AK-47 to be introduced
In what should be one of the final pieces of free agent business for the Nets, the team announced on Wednesday that it will introduce Kirilenko on Thursday morning via conference call.
Kirilenko was arguably the steal of the free agency period as he agreed to a one-year deal with a player option for a second year at the mini mid-level exception beginning at $3.18 million.
Kirilenko had declined his $10.2 million player option with the Minnesota Timberwolves in an effort, at the age of 32, to secure one more multi-year contract.
Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter for up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA