Sixers Trade Talk: Carmelo Anthony an Option, but Issues Loom

Carmelo Anthony

Getty Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony

The Philadelphia 76ers haven’t shied away from the fact that they need to add depth to the roster. Whether that help comes via trade or a free agent signing is the big question, but one name consistently linked to the team is Carmelo Anthony. The veteran forward played just 10 games with the Houston Rockets this season before they decided to go in a different direction.

Since that point, Anthony has been away from the team, and after months of waiting, the Rockets finally made a decision on his future. As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski revealed, they traded Anthony to the Chicago Bulls on Monday. But it was also reported shortly after that he will not play for the Bulls, as the team will either waive or trade him prior to the deadline.

This led to all kinds of speculation about where Anthony could land, and there’s no denying that the Sixers could be very much in the mix for him. They’ll have some competition if the front office opts to try to make a deal, though, and we’re going to look at the latest on his future.

Sixers May Face Competition From Lakers for Anthony

There’s not a huge market for Anthony, but after the original report of the trade came to light, another Woj report came shortly after. According to the analyst, the Los Angeles Lakers have interest in the former Rockets forward. This shouldn’t be considered all that surprising as he and LeBron James are close friends.

But there’s one issue for the Lakers, which is that they don’t want to waive a guaranteed player in order to add him.

Aside from the Lakers, it’s fair to assume that a few other teams could come to light as options for Anthony as the trade deadline approaches. With that said, the interest won’t be overwhelming, and if the Sixers wanted to acquire him in a deal that wouldn’t cost them much, the door is open for it.

The question is, should the Sixers even entertain the idea?

Argument for and Against Sixers Acquiring Carmelo Anthony

This is the million-dollar question for Philly fans and the team’s front office. On one side, Anthony is a (former) All-Star player, but one who’s well past his prime and hasn’t shown much over the past two seasons. In his one year with the Oklahoma City Thunder (2017-18), Anthony averaged 16.2 points per game, the lowest of his career to that point, while shooting just 40.4 percent from the field.

The numbers were arguably even worse to start his tenure in Houston, as Anthony’s scoring dropped to 13.4 points while he averaged a career-worst 5.4 rebounds per game. The 34-year-old also shot 40.5 percent from the field and just 32.8 percent from beyond the arc.

Even going beyond the stats, the question of a potential fit with the Sixers has to be considered. This is a group that already has Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler, who both need (and deserve) shots, while Ben Simmons’ ability to get the rim results in a decent number of attempts as well. It’s unlikely that there will be enough attempts to go around for Anthony to make any real impact, at least barring a big change.

On the positive side, there’s a good chance the team could acquire Anthony from the Bulls while giving very little in return. If it meant moving a player who’s at the end of the bench and provides almost no current impact, then it could make sense. But adding a veteran who’s struggled over the past season-plus doesn’t exactly seem like an ideal move for a team already in good position for a playoff run.

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