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What will Shandon Anderson do?
Posted on the Clutch BBS by davo, 8/17/2000

As most of you know, this is the second year of Shandon Anderson's mid level exception contract. He has an option to take up a third year at $2.25 Million, after which he will be a free agent.

Another thing we all "assume" is that there was some kind of "under the table" deal that the Rockets would reward Shandon with a big contract after he completes the current one.

If the true intention was sign Anderson to the maximum available($2mil) at the time, followed by a "reward" contract, then I see some interesting decisions coming up after this season.

a) If the Rockets are under the salary cap, then Shandon could "opt-out" of the final year of his current contract, and he and his agent could quite rightly expect them to give him a larger contract using cap space. If you are the Rockets, then you probably don't want this, becase it will limit your ability to chase another free agent, and you have to pony up the cash to Shandon a little earlier.
b) If the Rockets are over the cap, then once again, Shandon could opt out of the final year, and have the rockets sign him to a new one year Mid level exception contract (which will increase to the league average of approximately $4.1 mil next year). This would give him about $1.6 mil above what he would have earned under the existing contract. Also, Signing the 1 year deal means he is eligible for full bird rights the following year, and he can get his fat contract no matter what the Rockets payroll looks like.

I will be quite surprised if one of the above doesn't happen. Of course, the Rockets may convince Anderson to wait one more year if they have a legitimate shot at someone like Webber, but that still leaves the door open for option b) above.

I personally think that the third "option" year on Shandon's Contract was either:-
1. A hedge against the NBA average salary being less than $2.4 mil (in which case signing a new contract for the league average would not be worth it) or,
2. Just in case the rockets were under the cap and could afford a new, bigger contract before Shandon was eligible for full bird rights the following year.

Of course, there is also the possibility that there never was an "under the table" deal in the first place, and Shandon may wish to just leave and play elsewhere, but that is unlikley considering the lack of salary cap space around the league.

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Last Updated on 8/28/2000
By Davo