Although it’s been a while since he was one of the best scorers – and players – in the Association, Carmelo Anthony might be the highest-upside option left on the market for teams looking to make one more move.
With the 2019 offseason all but over, there aren’t many impact free agents left unsigned. At least not many that can be considered legitimate difference-makers, like Anthony could be if he were to be placed in the right situation.
Anthony played in just 10 games last season, 10 games in which he averaged 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds nightly while shooting only 32.8 percent from three.
However, his fit with the Houston Rockets never looked right, with the roster containing two elite ball-handling playmakers in James Harden and Chris Paul, and head coach Mike D’Antoni never really instilling the confidence in Anthony needed to excel in the role of complementary player.
Some league execs believe Anthony’s NBA days could be over, but there’s always a chance a player of his pedigree could land one more opportunity. If that were to happen, we broke down four places that would make the most sense as Anthony suitors below.
Not only could they use more scoring off the bench, but the Miami Heat were heavily involved in talks with Anthony in the summer of 2018 when it was clear his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder was over, making this potential pairing a logical one.
Miami is coming off a campaign where they missed the playoffs mostly due to their offensive struggles, where they ranked among the five worst teams in the league (according to offensive rating), ahead of just four squads who were clearly tanking the year. So the Heat could use a bucket-getter like Anthony at backup power forward to help shore up their scoring, especially when you consider the way James Johnson, their current backup 4-man, performed in 2018-19, when he was constantly playing injured and even fell out of the rotation late in this year.
Anthony could provide an upgrade over that, and it seems head coach Erik Spoelstra believed so as well last offseason:
“Miami coach Erik Spoelstra has been a strong advocate of signing Anthony, who could play a major role for the Heat at power forward.”
Of course, just like with every other theoretical Anthony landing spot, the success of his marriage is predicated upon the 10-time All-Star accepting a complementary role, likely as a reserve.
But considering his interest joining Miami last year, his close relationship with Dwyane Wade and the stage of his career that he’s in, there’s reason to believe Anthony and the Heat could make things work, and get the best out of each other.
A legitimate contender that could use more outside shooting, the Milwaukee Bucks also make sense as potential Anthony suitors.
Anthony seems especially logical for the Bucks in the role Nikola Mirotic left behind after he headed back to Europe, as a floor-spacing power forward there to help give reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo more room to operate in the paint.