NBA Free Agency has predictably slowed to a crawl after LeBron James made his decision to return to Cleveland, and now is about the time when minimum salary guys are signed to fill out rosters. But even with a few intriguing openings throughout the NBA, Oklahoma State product James Anderson has decided to move his career to the Euroleague to play for BC Žalgiris.
The club is based in Kaunas, Lithuania, and has won a record 16 titles in the Lithuanian Basketball League, their domestic league, including four straight championships over the past four seasons. Coincidentally, just a month after Marcus Smart was drafted by the Boston Celtics, Anderson finds himself going to a European team whose nickname is "The Green and White".
Anderson joins point guard Maalik Wayns as the only Americans on the team; big man Darius Songaila is the third member of the club to have NBA experience. Anderson is coming off of his most significant season in the NBA to date having played in 80 games for the Philadelphia 76ers last season, including 62 starts.
Unfortunately, most of Anderson's work comes with a blemish, as the 76ers took tanking to a new level last season. Not only did new head coach Brett Brown inflate his player's basic stats by playing at a reckless pace, at times Philly was putting together line-ups full of D-Leaguers on 10-day contracts signed for the sole purpose of fielding a team.
Still, Anderson scored a career high 10 points per game while playing 29 minutes a night, but he only managed to shoot 33% from deep on the season, which was underwhelming considering his lofty number of attempts (4.4 triples taken per game). On the brightside, Anderson managed to go off for 30 or more points twice last season, with both explosions coming against one of his former teams: the Houston Rockets. Anderson had a career performance during the opening fortnight of the season, scoring 36 points on 12-of-16 shooting against Houston before dropping 30 again on them later in the season.
The shocking part of all of this is that Anderson is reportedly set to take a major paycut while making his move to Lithuania. Per one report, Anderson's deal is for just $200,000 annually, which is over $1 million less than Anderson would get from a minimum contract in the NBA based on his tenure. We'll continue to update the fine print of Anderson's deal, but for at least a season, it appears as if he'll be adjusting to life in a new country.