One of the most positive news that this 2019-2020 season has brought us has been the reappearance of Carmelo Anthony in the NBA as an important player and in a role adapted to his current characteristics. The situation he was in Portland Trail Blazers Due to the plague of injuries that plagued them earlier in the season, management considered betting on one of the few free agents left at the time who could better adapt to their needs.
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Melo was far from her prime. A year away from the courts after the unsuccessful experiment at the Houston Rockets and without even having found a niche in any team in the entire league, the 10-time All-Star began a new journey in one of the geographic extremes of the NBA such as the Blazers.
There next to Damian Lillard y CJ McCollumAnthony has delivered a more than worthy version of his star profile, playing the veteran role and playing useful off-the-ball scorer roles when the time comes. Thus, Carmelo has been part of the exceptional closing of Portland’s campaign, managing to qualify for the Playoffs thanks to the Play-In and losing in five games against the eventual champions of the league such as the Lakers.
Now, Carmelo Anthony becomes an unrestricted free agent after the one-season bond for the minimum wage has expired, so he will have to face a new challenge, perhaps the last of his career because at 36 years old he has already shown that it is able to be a star and a secondary level.
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1 – Portland Trail Blazers
Perhaps the most logical move. The Oregonians were the ones who put all their trust in Anthony when no one else had even given him a chance to demonstrate what he could continue to do on the court and he reciprocated in the best possible way. In the 58 games he played with these, Melo managed to average more than 15 points and 6 rebounds with 43% in field goals and 38% in triples, the latter being his best record from long distance since 2014.
Anthony had a clearly secondary role as third sword behind Lillard and McCollum, where he held the position of power forward, spending 89% of the time as power forward. The loss of speed that once characterized him prevented him from playing as 3, especially on defense, but has nonetheless limited his offensive potential as Anthony has managed to convert himself into a high-value hitter, scoring 82 of his 87 3-pointers. pass and averaging 40.2% success in situations of catch&shoot.
The 36-year-old has adapted perfectly to the demands of Terry Stotts in a year where defense has been the big problem for the Blazers, ranking 27th in defensive efficiency. With free agency involved, Portland is in a position to strengthen the position of power forward and forward while it can renew Melo since his salary has only amounted to 2.1 million.
2 – Brooklyn Nets
The arrival of different personalities to the other team in New York has revitalized the franchise to start a new era in which they aspire to fight for the championship. With Irving and Durant under Nash, Brooklyn has a select group of promising youngsters who can help the team maintain the positive line they seem to be leading. However, this free agency is key for the Nets since they must assume the renewal of their starting guard, Joe Harris, since if he accepted a contract between 12 and 15 million annually, the franchise would enter the luxury tax with all that that implies as well as being forced to move other pieces to remain competitive.
In this context the figure of Carmelo Anthony becomes more and more important. A presumably low salary in exchange for an appealing competitive landscape and the possibility of truly fighting for the ring would be the best guarantee for the Nets to convince the player who has always been loved by the New York franchise, even when it was on the other side of the ring. Hudson River.
If this were the case, Melo would once again return to a large market, allowing Nets gain even more media and advertising relevanceWhile inside we would be talking about a veteran hardened in a thousand battles and with the necessary experience to help manage the Irving-Durant duo. In the absence of seeing what style these Nets will propose in the hands of Nash, we can venture to ensure that it will be fast and open, a frame where Anthony could give the best of himself, playing for the neighborhood where he was born.
3 – New York Knicks
Recently the New York Times through Marc Berman reported the interest of Carmelo Anthony for returning to the franchise where he truly enjoyed star status between 2011 and 2017, being there twice All-NBA and seven All-Star. Right now the New York Knicks are a blank canvas, with a project that begins to emerge around two pieces such as Tom Thibodeau as coach and Leon Rose as general manager. Both will have the extremely complicated task of running a team that has not been in the Playoffs since 2013, when Anthony was still 28 years old.
However, for this move to happen, the Knicks would have to be done first with Chris Paul, to which he is joined by a contract with Oklahoma City Thunder, since both have a special friendship relationship. The union of these two veterans with the rest of young promises such as RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson o Julius Randle It could be the finishing touch to their careers, taking advantage of their last golden years in a perfect setting as is always Madison Square Garden in the heart of the NBA.
Its fit in this context would be the least of it since Melo would arrive as a benchmark for the franchise in advertising and more with a veteran role than with competitive claims, like a dreamed goodbye before his audience.
4 – Philadelphia 76ers
A destination that we could include in the eternal list of veterans come unless they joined a team with a chance to fight for the championship. If the case arises, Anthony would disembark in a locker room with a chemistry to solve but that has the objective assets capable of turning them into a champion franchise such as Simmons and Embiid, joined by veterans like Harris and Horford, all under the prevailing command of a Doc Rivers who must show that the Clippers experience has been just a stain on his record.
For Melo this would be one of the most favorable scenarios. With the media scene aside Anthony could repeat the same role he has played for the Blazers by taking on even less ball, focusing on more locker room duties. and of execution from beyond the arch. The presumed defensive system of the 76ers would camouflage their deficiencies in the protection of the rim and would give the necessary packaging to a second unit that has proven insufficient in the last course.
Rivers and Anthony were already close to joining paths in 2017 when the opportunity presented itself for him to reach the Clippers, a situation that finally did not occur and that now at 36 years could be the best scenario.
5 – New Orleans Pelicans
In case Anthony wanted to take advantage of his last years of career by serving as a mentor and guide for promising youngsters, there is no scenario more conducive to this than the Pelicans who have one of the most promising cores of players in the entire league where he stands out Zion Williamson. The number 1 of the past Draft, with whom he shares a sneaker brand, could benefit greatly from the influence and teaching of Melo who over time has proven himself as a veteran of great influence on young people and who has been able to help in many meanings to the promises of your franchises.
Traditionally, the Pelicans have been an open team that has played fast, especially with a point guard like Lonzo Ball on the payroll, which would fit with the role that Anthony has been offering in recent years as a spacer and executor at quiet feet.
The Louisiana team have a huge salary space to fill in a roster that currently lacks power forward as Derrick Favors has terminated contract and his performance has not been as expected due to the different physical problems he has experienced. Space that Melo could occupy if the Pelicans manage to attract other players with a more prevailing defensive profile to correct the veteran’s deficiencies in that regard.
The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the NBA or its organizations.
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