Carmelo Anthony’s brief time with the Houston Rockets is over. The team announced Thursday that it was “working toward a resolution” to part ways after signing Anthony as a free agent this summer.
Anthony appeared in just 10 games for the Rockets and averaged career-lows of 13.4 points and 29.4 minutes. With his tenure in Houston over, speculation naturally turns to potential landing spots for the 10-time All-Star.
Options could be limited for Anthony. 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 in recent years, further complicating his ability to find a role in today’s NBA.
However, contending teams will always have a need for proven scoring depth off the bench. Should he finally be willing to play a reserve role, Anthony will have suitors. Let’s break down the potential landing spots ….
Golden State Warriors: At first glance, it would seem like a patented “best team signs ring-chasing veteran” move. Perhaps it would be, but the two-time defending champs can afford to take such a risk.
Beyond the surface, though, Anthony could actually fill a need for shooting and scoring off the bench. It seems silly to think of Golden State 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, especially 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 road to a three-peat even easier.
Philadelphia 76ers: 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 improve Philadelphia’s 20th-ranked 3-point shooting.
Los Angeles Lakers: With the Lakers back in title-hunting mode, the connection to another available star —albeit an aging one — is inevitable. Add in Anthony’s long-time friendship with LeBron James, and it’s practically certain.
The Lakers are in need of more help on defense than offense, but Anthony could still fill a need for supplementary scoring. Josh Hart leads the second unit, but 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.
Already a mash-up of big personalities, the Los Angeles locker room would seemingly have little trouble integrating another in Anthony. 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 names 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. Without him, New Orleans has had a tough time finding playmaking when Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday are off the floor. With Anthony leading the second unit, he could assume the lead role off the bench and allow coach Alvin Gentry to rest Davis and 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.
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