As most of the big names involved in this offseason’s free agency period have settled into their new situation, things have calmed down. Even the Kawhi Leonard scenarios are quieting down, while the Carmelo Anthony situation is gaining more attention.
The noted possible destinations for Anthony are Los Angeles, to join forces with Lebron James. Houston, to team up with Chris Paul and a high-octane offense and recently the Miami Heat joined the list of contenders to grab the 10-time All-Star.
All those places sound great and there are both positive and negative aspects of him joining either of those teams but let’s figure out what the best fit for Melo would be.
Los Angeles Lakers.
The only major perk of Anthony playing in Los Angeles would be improved shooting (maybe) and to play alongside James, who makes everyone he touches a better basketball player. So, if you’re basing this off the history of slumping players teaming up with the king, you’ll consider this a great move. If you’re looking at the Lakers organization and fanbase being revitalized solely based on another ‘big name’ added to the roster, you’ll consider this a good move.
Unless Melo’s mindset changes and he does whatever it takes in order to win a championship, this won’t be a good move. With the majority of the Lakers roster being young and athletic, there’s a great chance that’ll be the offense they run. That version of Melo ceases to exist and he’ll find himself in a situation similar to 2017-2018 with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
I forgot to mention his obnoxious salary.
Russell Westbrook has been labeled as a shoot-first style of point guard despite his gaudy assist numbers. If this is true, Chris Paul is the anti-Westbrook. Houston could be a nice place for Anthony because he’d be with Paul, one of the top three facilitators in the history of the NBA.
With the Rockets also releasing two key forwards, that opens up the door for a player like Carmelo to join this exciting offensive attack. Just like OKC, though, Houston runs a pretty agile offense, which may be detrimental for Anthony’s aged legs.
The Rockets would also be a situation where Anthony is a third or fourth option and although he may start, how many minutes would he get? Would he be a threat or would he serve the same role he did with the Thunder?
Maybe this is a logical destination for Melo. Not only is he in the Eastern Conference with far less talent than the Western Conference, he would have a better chance at having an increased role with a playoff team. Heck, Melo would have a much better chance of making an All-Star team as crazy as that sounds.
Miami doesn’t have a go-to scorer on their team. There are a ton of guys on that team that can score the ball and play solid defense which is why the heat have stayed relevant, but Melo could have a significant role. Miami also runs a more traditional offense where Anthony wouldn’t have to exert as much energy on a dead-sprint up-and-down the court.
The question is, can Anthony still be the potential focal point of an offense in his 16th season? He seems more like a solid role player at this point. Miami may need someone with more upside to contribute and not to mention, Pat Riley and head coach Eric Spoelstra run a very tight ship. They pride this franchise on great team-chemistry and honestly without that, this team isn’t a playoff team. Would Miami risk all that for Carmelo?
The best fit for Melo?
As you see, there are pros and cons to either of the three destinations for Anthony. The best fit for Carmelo Anthony and his individual career is in Miami. He’d be in an offense that favors his skill-set, he’d possibly be playing with his long-time friend Dwyane Wade and would be surrounded by youth with a ton of upside. Like already mentioned, he’d be in a weak Eastern Conference where the Heat are an expected playoff team. His 16 points per game would go a lot further there.
Him going to Houston may be good from a team success standpoint, only because the Rockets were one game and a Chris Paul injury away from the NBA Finals this season. The loss of a solid defensive player in Ariza will hurt the team, but maybe they could find a way to supplement that while implementing Melo in perfectly. Maybe Melo and Mike D’Antoni will learn how to live again, who knows.
Nevertheless, this has been a crazy offseason for the NBA and Carmelo Anthony. It’d be nice to see the once-electric offensive threat thrive again in the NBA.
Nice analysis of all the possibilities and why they make sense.