Defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers are surely putting in the pieces for their title retention campaign as they signed Chris “Birdman” Anderson to give their bench the depth they needed going into the next season.
It will also mark the reunion of Anderson and LeBron James, who were part of a championship team back in Miami. The 38-year old center out of Long Beach, California had a one-year tour of duty with the Memphis Grizzlies wherein he averaged 3.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 0.5 blocks per game, which was a noticeable decrease, back on his performance with the Heat. Anderson is looking to re-ignite his career as he joins forces with James and the rest of the Cavaliers.
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical first reported about the deal and stated that league sources stated that Anderson agreed to a one-year deal with the Cavaliers, though details of the deal have not yet been made public. Signing Anderson was the Cavaliers’ answer after losing Timofey Mozgov signed with the Los Angeles Lakers via free agency.
By signing Anderson, the Cavaliers added toughness and leadership in their second unit, which was a clear Achilles heel of the team during their finals appearance against the Golden State Warriors. Anderson was undrafted in 1999 but was taken in by the Denver Nuggets until the 2004 season. After that, he would sign a multi-year deal with the New Orleans Hornets and play there until the 2006 season. His career would hit by a controversy as he was banned for two years for drug abuse. But through a help from a friend and lawyer, Anderson managed to breeze through and was reinstated in 2008.
He would then re-sign with the Nuggets before joining the Miami Heat in 2013 wherein he won a championship ring together with the Heat’s “Big Three” of LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade. Before coming to the Cavaliers, Anderson played with the Grizzlies.
With the addition of Anderson in their lineup, the Cavaliers are looking to bolster their roster as they are getting ready to defend their crown that they have waited for 52 years.