NBA Rumors: Carmelo Anthony To Lakers, Blazers, Knicks or Heat?
Is Carmelo Anthony headed to the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, New York Knicks or Miami Heat? That is the question on the minds of NBA fans all over the world after a fascinating conversation between Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman on ESPN’s First Take.
During their chat, Smith indicated that someone — or someones — had been badmouthing Anthony to potential NBA suitors, but that it was not his fellow players. Rather, it seems like some coaches and general managers have effectively blackballed the former Syracuse star from the league.
“A lot of people don’t realize that sometimes these coaches and general managers have the same reps as one another,” he said, “So you say, one person could say something, and it can circulate because that clique is intact and they don’t even know whether it’s true or not. They’re just going on word of mouth.”
The straw that apparently broke the camel’s back was Anthony’s short stint with the Houston Rockets last year. Although he only played in 10 games, the relationship between player and team was seemingly far more toxic than anyone realized.
How bad was it?
Well, it Smith noted that the Blazers had some interest in bringing Anthony on board. Unfortunately, that marriage ultimately did not come to fruition after the Blazers did due diligence on their potential new pick-up.
“Terry Stotts has some reservations about Melo being in Portland,” Smith said. “I don’t know whether that’s finite or not, but he does have some reservations, along with others. I gotta wonder if there’s anything at all that Mike D’Antoni is saying about Carmelo Anthony and whether or not that’s having an impact. Or Daryl Morey after what Melo said about how things transpired in his exit from Houston.”
Anthony, 35, is a six-time All-NBA player with career averages of 24 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3 assists per game. In his last two years, thanks to significantly diminished playing time, he has only averaged 16.2 points per game and 13.4 points per game, respectively.
Although Anthony’s decline in ability is clear, the fact that Portland had some interest in him shows that NBA teams have not completely given up on him as far as his skillset goes.
While the Blazers seem to have passed, a few other options are still viable.
The Lakers, for instance, don’t have a ton of players who can create their own shots currently on the roster. LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma are basically the only guys on the team who fit that bill. Anthony would be a low risk acquisition who could fill that hole.
It is also worth remembering that the Knicks had plans to bring Anthony in if they had been able to sign Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. If they had interest in their former star at one point, it stands to reason they may have interest in him again. That team isn’t exactly competing for a championship this year, so if they have a big name for a low price who can move some tickets, you would expect all involved to take a close look.
Finally, Jimmy Butler is going to need some help on the Heat. There was some talk about that squad acquiring Chris Paul to play alongside him, but that did not end up happening. Anthony is a low risk player who would not command a large salary and would likely accept whatever role Pat Riley demands he accept. It would take some of the scoring load off Butler’s shoulders and would provide Anthony with the opportunity to prove he can still play at an NBA level. Win-win.
Where will Anthony ultimately end up? We will find out soon enough.