The conundrum known as the Carmelo Anthony saga continues as the 10-time All-Star finds himself on the unemployed list.
Anthony finished the 2017-18 season with the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, Anthony struggled to find his role with the Thunder and would eventually be traded in the offseason to the Atlanta Hawks. Days later, Atlanta and Melo reached a buy-out agreement.
After a season with the Thunder, it became obvious that Melo may have to consider coming off the bench in his next role. Right before the 2018-19 season, Anthony signed a one-year deal with the Houston Rockets. Prior to the season, critics and analysts debated if he would fit with the Rockets run and gun style.
Needless to say, after playing only 10 games with the Rockets, both parties agreed to part ways. Unfortunately, Houston and Melo’s camp had yet to reach a buyout agreement. Before Carmelo Anthony signed with the Rockets another team who seemed to be interested was the Miami Heat.
Once the 34-year-old is on the market again, he will need to find another place to play. Currently, the Heat are ninth in the Eastern Conference with a 13-16 record on the season. Although Miami finds themselves outside of the playoff picture, would signing Melo help this team moving forward?
Is Anthony’s last NBA opportunity with the Heat? Despite his short and unfair stint in Houston, he will play again in the NBA and it won’t be with the Heat. Let’s discuss the matter at hand, which isn’t only about what Carmelo Anthony has left, but what teams are around that would need a player like him on their roster.
Supply and Demand
Clearly, Anthony is at the end of his career, but there is always a team that is willing to take a risk. Last season the forward averaged 16.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists. Not to mention he was the third scoring option behind Russell Westbrook and Paul George.
Prior to being traded to OKC, the New York native was the face of the Knicks. It takes more than a year to adjust to playing with Westbrook. Of course, Melo played a role with OKC, but playing for the Thunder was not a good fit — overall — for anyone involved.
Yes, Miami sounds like an ideal situation, but there are other teams that need the services of the 15-year veteran. While playing in Houston, the forward agreed to whatever role head coach Mike D’Antoni needed him to play. Sadly, Melo became the fall guy after the team got off to a slow start.
As of now, the narrative has been that Carmelo Anthony did not want to come off the bench. But after playing in Houston, he has proved that to be untrue. There are a few contenders in the east and the west that could benefit from the services of the 2003 draft pick.
The Philadelphia 76ers need to consider signing the Syracuse product. Philadelphia added Jimmy Butler in a trade but lost two valuable players in Dario Saric and Robert Covington. Although Butler is better than both players, the Sixers took another hit to their depth.
Another team that could use Anthony is the Los Angeles Lakers. This signing would make sense because of the recent injury to Brandon Ingram. Oh yeah, LeBron James mentioned he would love to play with Melo as well, which is even more of a reason.
Wait for it… the Trade Deadline
Of course, the Rockets would like to trade Melo in order to receive some assets back. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey probably wants to avoid a buyout, but is willing to move on if necessary. If the former Knick is bought out by the Rockets there are some teams that will consider adding him closer toward the trade deadline or postseason.
Even though the 2018-19 season is fully underway teams are still figuring out their identities. Closer to the All-Star game general managers start to consider signing or trading players. Outside of the Lakers and Rockets, there are a few contenders that will keep a close eye on Anthony.
The New Orleans Pelicans may be another team that may move in on Melo. This may be a long shot because of the fact that they are second in points per game in the league. However, the fact their star in Anthony Davis is carrying this team on his back may come back to haunt them.
Over the last few years, it has been clear that he needs help. Last season the big man had the help of DeMarcus Cousins who was exceptional before tearing his ACL. Signing Melo will help provide the team with another scorer who can space the floor.
New Orleans needs to consider signing Anthony in order to help Davis this season.
Patience is Key
Right now, it may seem like Anthony’s career is over, but patience is key. Some teams may not display interest until closer to the playoffs if he does reach a buyout with Houston. A couple other teams that may position themselves to sign the 34-year-old include the Washington Wizards (who are desperate to regroup) and the Portland Trailblazers.
Washington may be a stretch considering their salary cap and the fact that they just acquired Trevor Ariza. The Wizards need to consider signing Anthony because of their of their inability to get off to fast starts in games. Not to mention the team needs a solid third scoring option.
Otto Porter Jr. is a solid shooter, but he still seems to struggle with his role on the team. Melo can come off the bench or start which will be a major benefit for this team.
Portland is still on the table for Anthony, who drew interest from Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum in the summer of 2017. The Trail Blazers are probably a piece in a half away from being a title contender in the west.
Of course, playing in Portland is a turn off for some major free agents. Portland is a great destination for Melo, as he tries to finish his career in style. The team has some solid pieces and two cornerstones in Lillard and McCollum. Anthony expressed interest in the team during the summer of 2017.
As the 2018-19 season continues to unfold the future Hall of Famer will be on the market again once he reaches a buyout with Houston. After suiting up for 10 games with the Rockets, Melo averaged 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.
Anthony will play in another jersey, even if it is not Miami. The 6-foot-8 forward will sign with the 76ers or Lakers before the trade deadline.