Stan Van Gundy continues to shape this team in his image. Friday morning, the Detroit Pistons traded Will Bynum to the Boston Celtics for Joel Anthony. The roster remains at 16, but the number of holdover Pistons from last year keeps dwindling. After this trade, it means that Jonas Jerebko is the longest tenured Piston on the roster.
So what do you need to know about Mr. Anthony? Well, he'll be doing exactly what Bynum would have been doing had he still been here, sitting on the bench hoping to get scrap minutes. Pending the results of further tests on Aaron Gray's heart condition, and depending on how well Hasheem Thabeet plays the rest of this offseason (provided he plays), Anthony is likely to be the third string center. And with that, the Pistons have gotten one step closer to being able to field a lineup of purely left-handers (now all they need is a left-handed shooting guard...MANU!!!!)
Anthony is a 32 year old, 6-foot-9, 245-pound left-handed center who has been in the league for seven years playing a majority of those seasons with the Miami Heat. He's also Canadian (go team OVO?). He played two seasons (over three years) at UNLV. Even in college, he was not a starter, averaging only 16 minutes per game and 3.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks. After college, Anthony went undrafted but was picked up by the Miami Heat. During his six years with the Heat, he started 110 of 370 games (almost half of those during the 2011-12 season). He also won two championships.
Offense is not really a part of Anthony's game. He has only averaged 2.3 points while shooting at a .503 clip. However, there is some defense to Anthony's game. After averaging 2.3 blocks in college, he's averaged 1.2 per game in the NBA. If you looked at his per-36 blocks, it looks better at 2.6. However, he is a poor rebounder, averaging a woeful 6.8 per 36.
Anthony also brings tutelage. While he may not be a great (or even good) center, he has played for both Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra, two people whom have coached with/for Stan Van Gundy. This means that he has played for coaches who run offensive and defensive schemes, which is more than we can say for some of our recent coaches. This could help Andre (maybe) because Joel may not be able to physically do some of the things Andre can, but he can help him know where to be and when.
It is very likely that Joel Anthony was solely brought in to be what Aaron Gray was meant to be: a practice dummy. Someone that could bang with Andre Drummond in the post. His salary for the year is $3.8 million, which is $900,000 more than what Bynum was making for the year. The Pistons were already about $3 million under the salary cap. Anthony's contract is up after this year (as was Bynum's) so it can still be used as a trade chip in the future.
What say you DBB? Are you OK with this trade?