Carmelo Anthony: Four Potential Landing Spots After Parting Ways With Rockets
Six months ago, ten-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony and the Houston Rockets were a team that looked destined to be serious contenders for the Western Conference and perhaps the NBA championship. But on Thursday, the Rockets (7-7) announced that they were “working toward a resolution” to part ways with Anthony.
Anthony appeared in just ten games for the Rockets and averaged career lows of 13.4 points and 29.4 minutes.
At 34 years old and turning 35 in May, Anthony has already logged more career minutes than guys who played into their 40’s such as Steve Nash, Dikembe Mutombo, and Juwan Howard.
After a weekend of rumors that Anthony was about to be waived for the second time in four months, Houston GM Daryl Morey spoke with the media on Sunday in an effort to take control of the narrative.
“One of the reasons I’m here, besides its 10 games in, about, is I think there’s just a lot of unfair-like rumors and everything going around about him,” Morey said of Anthony. “He’s been great with us. As Coach [Mike D’Antoni] said yesterday, his approach has been great. He’s accepted every role Coach has given him — starting, off the bench, whatever it’s been.
“We’re struggling as a team, and it’s my job, it’s Coach’s job to figure this thing out. But from Guy 1 to Guy 15 — and I’ll put myself in there; a lot of this is on me right now. We’re not playing well.”
NBA players around the league have tweeted in support of Anthony lately:
Melo deserves better than this.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) November 12, 2018
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) November 12, 2018
— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 12, 2018
Anthony has five assists in 294 minutes, giving him one of the lowest assist rates in NBA history for a non-center. With his tenure in Houston over, speculation naturally turns to potential landing spots for the ten-time All-Star.
Options could be limited for Anthony as he still wants to play big minutes, but he likely won’t find many roles that offer that type of playing time. Anthony’s shooting has diminished over the years, which has further complicated his ability to find a leading role in today’s NBA.
Here are five potential landing spots for Melo should he finally be willing to play a reserve role:
The Golden State Warriors (12-4): It may seem silly to think of the Warriors needing more shooting, but it’s actually a bit top-heavy in that regard. Beyond the star trio of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, the Warriors lack shooting depth and Anthony could fill a need for shooting and scoring off the bench.
Anthony shot only 40.5% overall and 32.8% from 3-point range with the Rockets. If he shoots closer to his career averages of 44.9% and 34.7%, Anthony could help make Golden State’s return to the Finals a bit easier.
Already a mash-up of big personalities, the Warriors’ locker room would seemingly have little trouble integrating another star.
The Philadelphia 76ers (9-7): Perhaps the best basketball fit for Anthony’s skill set, the 76ers are reportedly “kicking the tires on the idea” of bringing Anthony in.
The 76ers showed they’re all in for a championship push with the acquisition of Jimmy Butler. They know they’re not a complete product, though, and additional shooting is a top priority, especially since they sacrificed some by trading Robert Covington and Dario Saric to get Butler.
As with a potential Warriors pairing, Anthony would need to regain top form as a shooter to be the type of impact addition the 76ers would need him to be. However, his career numbers suggest he could help immediately improve Philadelphia’s 20th-ranked 3-point shooting.
Los Angeles Lakers: With the Lakers back in title-hunting mode, the potential to land another star looks promising. The Lakers and Anthony are connected on many levels. The most obvious link is that LeBron James and Anthony’s friendship is long-documented and would likely be the driving factor in any decision-making with regards to signing him.
The Lakers are in need of more help on defense than offense, and Anthony could fill a need for supplementary scoring. Josh Hart currently leads the second unit, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Lance Stephenson have been inconsistent. Any scoring from Tyson Chandler is a bonus. Anthony could be a potent additional option next to Hart and also add flexibility off the bench.
The Lakers would need to make some moves at the back end of the roster to add Anthony.
New Orleans Pelicans: They aren’t as flashy as the other teams on this list, but the Pelicans could be a better basketball fit for Anthony, one that could provide a boost in a needed spot for a promising young team with hopes of advancing further in the playoffs.
Elfrid Payton has been out with an ankle injury for nearly three weeks and New Orleans has had a tough time finding playmakers without him. With Anthony leading the second unit, he could assume the lead role off the bench and allow coach Alvin Gentry to rest Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday at the same time.
The Pelicans’ fast-paced offense would seem to be ill-suited for Anthony. But as the top option on the reserve unit, Anthony would be able to slow things down whenever he wanted and use his versatility on the wing or the low block, places he has excelled before.