Joel Anthony, the player many refer to as the “Warden”, has become the victim of recent trade rumors mostly due to the financial restraints the Miami Heat are currently facing going into the next few seasons.
On paper, it seems like a no brainer that Anthony gets traded. Since Mike Miller was released a few weeks ago, Anthony is now the fifth–highest paid player on a team where he isn’t even considered the third-string center. Why dedicate so much money to a player that doesn’t even get appropriate minutes? Well, Anthony has become defined by his role on the defensive end of the ball, and this is what makes him such a commodity.
Anthony has become a lethal pick and roll defender. In fact, he is the best on the team. Anthony is extremely quick laterally and can easily slip the pick to get back to his man to defend the rim. Anthony has averaged 1.2 blocks per game in his career, which is also the highest on the Heat roster.
The one huge disadvantage Anthony has while being on the court is his lack of any offensive skills to speak of. Typically, when the Heat are playing an offensive set with Anthony on the floor, team can switch to a 4-on-5 style of defense due to the lack of respect for Anthony in terms of scoring. This can be an issue, especially with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade needing the floor spaced out for them to be most effective.
Until Anthony can develop any sort of offensive skills with the basketball, he will most likely be delegated to the end of the bench, which is a shame. The Heat play some of their best defense with Anthony on the court, which leads to more fast breaks for the offense.
With Anthony, you just have to take the good with the bad.