Those of us who followed the New Orleans Hornets during their two-year sojourn here remember that absurd “buzz of the Birdman” billboard promoting power forward Chris “Birdman” Andersen. (Which reminds me: how come there were so few Thunder billboards? Come on, Clay, write a couple of checks, fercrissake.) To a certain extent, the Birdman lived up to his billing: an amiable sort of goof, until you tried to get a shot past him, which you would instantly regret.
Andersen appeared in only 32 games here in OKC before running afoul of the NBA’s drug rules; he was banished for two years, and played briefly for the Hornets after reinstatement. Last summer the Denver Nuggets signed him, and he’s been producing some serious numbers, which brought him to the attention of the hominids at Thunder Madness, one of whom urges GM Sam Presti to sign him in the offseason:
1. He’s going to be a free agent after the season.
2. We all know and love him around here for his hustle and antics.
3. He averaged only 20 minutes per game this year, but he finished 3rd in the NBA in shots blocked.
In all, he blocked 175 shots, which works out to 5.76 per 48 minutes played, higher than anyone else with at least 10 minutes per game in the entire Association.
Two immediate thoughts:
- Andersen can likely be had for rather a lot less than rookie-to-be Blake Griffin, who isn’t likely to be drafted by the Thunder, simply because of the mathematics of the NBA lottery;
- He’d fill the position (in more ways than one) vacated by free agent Robert Swift, who likely won’t be re-signed.
Then again, if it’s imperative to sign local favorites like Griffin or Andersen, we need to make some kind of offer to Desmond Mason. Maybe even put him on a billboard.