Weekly lineup

 Saturday, October 2
Anderson signs, reportedly for two years
Associated Press

 HOUSTON -- Free-agent swingman Shandon Anderson, spurning a more lucrative deal to remain with the Utah Jazz, signed Wednesday with Houston, adding another piece intended to make the Rockets more of a running team.

Shandon Anderson
Anderson helped save Utah from a first-round exit in the 1999 playoffs.
"I think when you're dealing with athletes, people have a tendency to assume money means everything," the 6-foot-6 Anderson said. "I don't think money overrules happiness. I think it's a matter of fitting in.

"It's a good fit for me. I come into a good situation, can come right in and hopefully have an impact. I think I've made the right decision."

The Rockets did not disclose terms of the deal, but a league source with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press that Houston had offered Anderson a two-year contract worth $2 million this season and a 10 percent raise the second. The contract also includes a player option for a third year at $2.4 million.

It's the most the Rockets could give Anderson because they are over the $34 million salary cap for the upcoming season.

Utah, where Anderson has played since selected by the Jazz in the second round of the 1996 draft, offered him more than $3 million per season and a guaranteed spot in the starting lineup.

Anderson, 25, told the Jazz he preferred to sign elsewhere. Also interested in him were the Indiana Pacers.

"I'm from Atlanta, so in terms of Houston and Atlanta, they're similar," Anderson said. "That's why I chose Houston."

"There's been a great deal of speculation about Shandon not liking Salt Lake City," Anderson's agent, Dan Fegan, said. "That was never the question. It was which place he liked more."

Utah indicated last week it would refuse to make a sign-and-trade deal, which would bring them something in return for Anderson. That worked against Indiana.

"Indiana was a very strong situation," Fegan said. "If the sign and trade manifested itself, it was something Shandon would have had to consider."

With the Rockets, Anderson, who has averaged 7.6 points and 2.7 rebounds over 197 games, will join veterans Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley, plus rookie point guard Steve Francis.

Coach Rudy Tomjanovich said his team will continue to use the post-up offense with Olajuwon and Barkley, but said the emphasis will be on becoming a better running team to take advantage of Anderson and Francis.

"Shandon I think is one of the best runners of the lane in the league," Tomjanovich said. "We're going to be better in that area.

"And with new rules coming in with less contact, the league is trying to promote a more attacking type game, slashing, driving to the basket. I think Shandon is one of the most tenacious drivers in the league and we're going to try to present some situations where we exploit that strength."


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