The news of Carmelo Anthony’s demise may be greatly exaggerated (cue: Carmelo Anthony-sized washing machine), but in the meantime, let’s wildly speculate and ask ourselves: as fans, where do WE want Melo to go? Here are five choices of possible landing spots (and, one less than likely landing spot) if the Rockets actually choose to part ways with Anthony. Money isn’t an issue, remember, as Carmelo will cost the veterans minimum. (I mean...right?)
Where Should Carmelo Go?
This poll is closed
Obviously, the 76ers. They need shooting after trading Robert Covington and Dario Saric, and Melo is a shooter. Or, at least, I think he is? Or, was?
Obviously, the Lakers. They need shooting after, uh, constructing their roster like this (they’re 17th in 3PT%, tied with the Cleveland Cavaliers, haha!), and Melo might be a shooter?
Obviously, the Rockets. They need shooting after...oh no, wait a second...
Obviously, the Trail Blazers. Their team is just fine, in fact better than expected, but they could use another scorer, especially on the wing and off the bench.
Obviously, the Pistons. They have a negative point differential in a conference with only 5 teams that have positive point differentials. Get real.
Obviously, the Knicks. Because, everyone deserves a second chance, but mainly because Knicks. (They’ll give him a 4-year supermax.)
(All stats as of 11/12/18)
And, here are my elite-elite thoughts for the 30 teams in the NBA with their current records (Houston’s at 5-7, by the way, and both Chris Paul and James Harden have missed multiple games), and whether Carmelo would be worth it for them.
Let us know what you think in the comments!
30. Cleveland Cavaliers (1-11) - Haha! One year too late for LeBron, but perfect landing spot for a team that wants to tank while also selling tickets?
29. Phoenix Suns (2-10) - Booker, Melo, Ariza, and Ayton is not the least fun thing I’ve ever heard of, especially since the Suns won’t make the playoffs, and so can play however they want.
28. Atlanta Hawks (3-10) - This would hinder the Taurean Prince That Was Promised, so I would do a hard pass (unlike Melo who doesn’t pass, at all; he’s only averaged 4+ assists ONCE in his career).
27. Washington Wizzle-Wazzles (3-9) - YES. ADD CARMELO TO THE FIGHTIN’ DWIGHT HOWARDS! THE DC SARLACC OF LOUD MELODRAMA FOR BAD REASONS SHOULD BE FED, NOT STARVED!
26. NY Knicks (4-10) - I actually don’t think that the fans would hate this. The Knicks aren’t a playoff team, and fans loved ‘Melo, so why not? Let him lead the 2nd unit, or play next to Hardaway, Jr. What do you lose besides money? Knicks fans turned on Melo because of Phil Jackson’s roster construction, not because of anything he did. They’d welcome him back.
25. Chicago Bulls (4-9) - I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I don’t want to hinder Jabari Parker, so: no.
24. Minnesota TimberKATs (4-9) - YES. Haha, YESSS! SEE WHAT HAPPENS!
23. Dallas “Super Great Office Culture” Mavericks (4-8) - He wouldn’t start, but sure: let’s watch him and Rick Carlisle work together.
22. Miami Heat (5-7) - They wouldn’t trade Josh Richardson for Jimmy Butler, but maybe they’d trade money for Melo? He’d finally be able to say “duck his sick” in Miami (again, a few years late for LeBron).
21. Brooklyn Nets (6-7) - This would be a spite move vs. the Knicks. Again, Melo would have to come off the bench, but CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! ALWAYS PISS OFF YOUR HOMETOWN RIVAL IF YOU CAN.
20. Orlando Magic (6-7) - This would possibly be the most Orlando Thing to ever happen: a self-inflicted wound that everyone else in the world saw coming. Plus, Carmelo is vintage Florida: bad and cheap. I hope this happens. I hope they sign him to an extension. “You just don’t get free agents of Carmelo Anthony’s stature signing in Orlando. We had to!”
19. Detroit Pistons (6-6) - HEAR ME OUT! The ‘Stons have the second worst 3PT% in the NBA; Melo would definitely/maybe help that! Detroit is 10th in defensive rating right now, but SO WHAT! They’re 20th in offensive rating! StanJohn and Reggie Bullock are both shooting under 40% and are sub-average from long distance. What do you really lose if you stick Melo in the corner and let him shoot threes? I SAY DETROIT WOULD GET BETTER! WHO’S COMING WITH ME?
18. Utah Jazz (6-6) - This would be hysterical and I hope it happens. Can you imagine Joe Ingles, Carmelo Anthony, and Ricky Rubio all playing together? IN UTAH? Everyone would occasionally look around at each other and mouth, “How the hell did this happen?”
17. New Orleans Pelicans (6-6) - Not the worst idea in the world, especially to beef up the second unit.
16. Charlotte Hornets (7-6) - Melo would basically take Uncle Marv’s minutes, so: NO! NOOOO!
15. Boston Celtics (7-6) - Haha, please God, yes. This team definitely needs more players who are pissed off about their lack of playing time. If there’s one thing that the Irish have familiarity with, it’s having plenty. Too soon?
14. Los Angeles Lakers (7-6) - Do they really have the same record as Boston?
13. Sacramento Kings (7-6) - Do they really have the same record as Boston AND the Lakers?
12. Philadelphia 76ers (8-6) - They just added Jimmy, but sacrificed depth. Does Melo give you scoring off the bench or does he hurt you defensively so much that his offense doesn’t matter?
11. Indiana Pacers (8-6) - This...would be interesting. Victor Oladipo is the only player on the Pacers who’s averaging at least 15 points per game. Dude might could use some help.
10. LA Clippers (7-5) - Melo used to be considered the perfect fit for the Lob City Clippers of CP3, Blake Griffin, and Deandre Jordan, but now he’d just be another piece on a team full of pieces. I imagine he’d help, but it might be a little lonely.
9. Oklahoma City Thunder (7-5) - Remember when they needed to turn their season around? This would be AMAZING. PLEASE HAPPEN.
8. San Antonio Spurs (7-4) - Bingo. Bingo, I say! Are you trynna tell me that Popovich wouldn’t be able to figure out how to use Melo? Don’t you want to see what happens when Carmelo Anthony plays with Rudy Gay AT THE SAME TIME??
7. Memphis Grizzlies (7-4) - I have no opinion on the Memphis Grizzlies. In this, I am like everyone else on the planet.
6. Denver Nuggets (9-4) - A homecoming, of sorts, except no one wants you there.
5. Milwaukee Bucks (10-3) - Sure, why not.
4. Portland Trail Blazers (10-3) - I originally thought Hell No, but then I looked at their team again, and only 4 players average double digits in points. Now, I think Hell Yes.
3. Golden State Warriors (11-2) - I mean, just do it. Melo wouldn’t threaten anyone’s playing time, and he might not really play that much, anyway, but he’d most likely get a ring, he’d bring enthusiasm to finally, FINALLY, getting a ring, and Melo’s one career blemish is that he doesn’t have a ring, so: GO GET THAT RING! Play 5 minutes a game for one season, win it all, accept your big ass RING, and then go get your final contract with anyone, content with the knowledge that your Hall of Fame credentials are now satisfied beyond a doubt. I mean, they already are, but people hate on elite players who don’t win rings, so again: RINGRINGRINGRING! This is Opportunity calling for Carmelo Anthony!
2. Toronto Raptors (12-1) - I love this team, I love Kyle Lowry. Whatever he wants to do, I support him.
1. Houston Rockets (5-7) - The Rockets are one win behind Utah, an almost lock to make the playoffs. Houston lost one game by 3 points (on the road, to a good defensive team), AND they’ve had their two best players miss multiple games. Everyone knew Melo couldn’t play defense, so why is he getting blamed for Houston’s lack of defense, especially when their two best players have missed games? Waiving Melo now would be a mistake. Bench him if you want, but don’t just straight-up fire him. Goddamn, give him 10 games when the team is at full strength and THEN see where you are. Why is everyone freaking out? They’re literally only two games out of the 8 seed. They’ve only lost to good teams, so far. What the hell is the damn rush?
UPDATE (11/16/18): Carmelo Anthony and the Houston Rockets will part ways. Rather than announcing that the team is finally healthy and at full strength, and so there’s no reason to be precipitous and get rid of Melo, the Rockets announced they’ll pursue a trade for him, or waive him. Gary Clark, who was a great defensive player in college but went undrafted in the 2018 draft, will be his replacement.
Meanwhile, D’Antoni’s rotation has basically been 8 players over the last three games, which probably isn’t sustainable over an entire season, especially with Chris Paul’s and James Harden’s knees and hamstrings. (Although, bad knees has never stopped D’Antoni from overplaying a player before, right, Amar’e Stoudemire?) In 11 games, Eric Gordon’s shot better than 30% from three just twice. I’ve seen it written that Houston isn’t blaming Melo, that they want him to stay, and that the national narrative is completely incorrect. The national narrative is that Houston is dumping Carmelo after 10 games. What exactly is incorrect about that? Morey AND D’Antoni could’ve had Melo’s back and said that the team was just working its way through early season difficulties, and everyone was playing subpar. Instead, D’Antoni (who clashed with Melo when they were both with the Knicks), answered questions about Anthony’s future by deflecting them to Morey. Not exactly supportive.
To be clear: I don’t think Melo’s played well, so far, but then again, hardly any of the Rockets played well in their first 10 games. But, just like the Knicks waiving Joakim Noah before they needed to, the Rockets are dismissing Melo prematurely. If MELO were demanding a trade, due to his minutes or usage, then that would be one thing, but according to absolutely everyone on the Rockets, Carmelo has been receptive to all requests and has done whatever’s been asked of him. (BTW: if he’s not out with an illness, but is rather a DNP-CD, then isn’t Houston breaking the rules by lying?) There are few second units in the NBA who couldn’t use a scoring threat like Carmelo Anthony, even though he’s not what he used to be. If Mike D’Antoni is such a great offensive genius, then why can’t he figure out how to use Melo? (Twice?)