The 212cm Andersen was the seventh Australian to be selected into the NBA Draft in 2002 when he was chosen by the Atlanta Hawks with the 37th pick overall. He has never played a single game for the Hawks however as Atlanta have held onto his draft rights without ever signing him to a contract.
Andersen was reportedly set finally to sign with Atlanta prior to the current NBA season after he received assurances from former Hawks GM Billy Knight that the team wanted him to come to America. That plan fell through however when Knight was replaced by Rick Sund, who said he needed another year to evaluate him.
The Australian, who plays for FC Barcelona in Spain, was clearly frustrated with the situation following his team’s third place finish in the Euroleague Final Four recently.
"I just wish they would give me a straight answer either way," the Boomers star told draftexpress.com. "Every year it’s the same thing. If they want me, great, but if not, I would like to go play somewhere else. I can’t force the tender and go play on a non-guaranteed minimum contract, but I don’t think I’m asking for crazy money either."
Andersen has long been recognised as one of Europe’s top big men, and starred in the recent Euroleague Final Four. In the third-fourth place playoff game he led Barcelona with 20 points in just 26 minutes, on 8-of-12 shooting (3-of-5 three-pointers) as they knocked of Greek team Olympiacos.
His performance clearly impressed draftexpress.com writer Jonathan Givony.
"Although this wasn't the most competitive setting you'll find, Andersen still did a nice job showcasing his excellent skill-level, primarily in the form of his jump-shot, knocking down an array of spot-up, pull-up, turnaround and pick and pop jumpers, in the post, from 18-20 feet, and all the way out beyond the three-point line," Givony wrote.
Givony also reported that Andersen had been the subject of numerous trade requests to the Hawks.
“The Hawks have apparently had multiple teams try to acquire Andersen in a trade, but have been reluctant to deal him for fear that he may make them look foolish in another team’s uniform,” Givony wrote. Based on the way Andersen has looked here in Berlin, that’s a legitimate possibility.”