Miami Heat: Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul in South Beach Worth Considering

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 20: Chris Paul #3, Carmelo Anthony #7 and Eric Gordon #10 of the Houston Rockets call for a continuation basket on a shot by James Harden #13 after a foul by Brandon Ingram #14 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the fourth quarter at Staples Center on October 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Carmelo Anthony is still an NBA free agent.

Playing in Miami with the Miami Heat isn’t such a bad option.

Anthony hasn’t played NBA basketball since November 8, 2018, in a game against his former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. A 10-time NBA All-Star, Anthony signed with the Houston Rockets this summer after clearing waivers in a trade that shipped him from the Thunder to the Atlanta Hawks.

The Rockets traded Anthony to the Chicago Bulls before the NBA’s trade deadline and he was later waived.

Now, the 35-year-old is waiting for the best deal to come around.

Miami is looking to rebuild in their post-Dwyane Wade era.

“They have some good players not great players,” NBA writer, Steve Kyler told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast last month.

“I’d say their great players are aging. But hey Justice Winslow looked great last year, Josh Richardson has been great at times. Love Dion Waiters but he’s not the leading lady. So yeah they just have a lot of middle tier guys their plan is to get the cap space for next year there’s not a lot of dudes to get next year.”

The Heat have been busy since our conversation on Scoop B Radio.

While Miami struck out in signing DeMarcus Cousins and trading for Russell Westbrook, they did get Jimmy Butler via free agency.

The Heat are still looking to acquire Chris Paul via trade.

Paul was shipped to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a trade that brought Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets.

Following the trade, Paul’s future has remained a hot-button topic. While Paul was part of the deal that reunited Russell Westbrook with James Harden in Houston, his days in Oklahoma City appear numbered.

As reported recently, an NBA source recently told Heavy: “CP3 will end up with the Heat,” though a deal hasn’t been finalized. A source close to Paul told Heavy that Paul would like to join the Heat.

One potential holdup: The Thunder are thought to be interested in acquiring rookie guard Tyler Herro, a Kentucky product who tore up the NBA Summer League.

Many are big on Herro’s upside and have even compared Herro to retired NBA player Jason Williams.

“Herro has got a sweet basketball game,” former Miami Heat forward, Caron Butler told the Miami Herald.

“He can score in so many ways. Going left or right, off the pick and roll, the catch and shoot. That’s what you call just an arsenal of ways to score the basketball. And he does not lack confidence whatsoever.”

Butler is not the only NBA’er who speaks highly of Herro.

“I think Tyler Herro is a flat out scoring machine,” retired NBA player Derek Anderson told me via text message.

Anderson a Kentucky product like Herro was drafted with the 13th pick in the 1997 NBA Draft. He helped the Wildcats win a NCAA National basketball Championship in 1996 and won an NBA Championship as a member of the Miami Heat with Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade in 2006.

“Some players come in and have to adjust to the game,” Anderson said of Tyler Herro.

For those keeping score at home: League guidelines on rookie contracts mandates NBA teams to wait 30 days following the completion of the Paul/Westbrook trade in order to orchestrate a trade involving Herro.

Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul are both friends are part of LeBron James’ banana boat crew. They’re also both signed to Team Jordan.

The duo would be an intruiging compliment to Jimmy Butler.

Anthony has averaged 24.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists in his 16-year career with the Thunder, Knicks, Nuggets and Rockets. He’s a long small forward, and is the epitome of today’s game, as he has the ability to score in a number of ways.

In an interview with Taryn Finley of the Huffington Post, Melo suggested that he is at peace with the fact he may not play much longer. “I’m sure [retirement is] coming soon,” he said.

“I’d be sitting lying to you if I said it’s not coming soon. I think I want it to come soon. I don’t think I want to do this forever, but because you love it so much, it’s hard to give it up. At the end of the day, at anything you do, when it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go. But as long as you feel good with that.”

How can Miami make this work from a salary cap perspective?

Earlier this month’s’s Jeff Smith noted that the Heat’s Goran Dragic and his contract is attractive. “Miami’s salary cap space isn’t something to ignore,” wrote Smith on July 8.

“But they do have a few things working in their favor. One of which is the fact that Goran Dragic, who has a cap hit of more than $19.217 million, is heading into the final year of his deal and is a name who should have a decent trade market.

“To go along with Dragic’s appealing contract situation, both James Johnson and Kelly Olynyk have big annual salaries but have two years left on their deals (one standard season, one player option). There’s a decent chance the Heat could include either of these two, along with 23-year-old Justise Winslow and his $13 million cap hit in 2019-20 and 2020-1 in a trade.”

In the meantime, Carmelo Anthony is worth a look.

“There’s no reason why Melo should be at home,” the former NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner recently told SNY’s Ian Begley.

“I think that it’s unfortunate and it sucks. Because there’s so many fans, including myself, of Melo. I love his game, I love what he brings to the game. And I just hope that a team gives him an opportunity to show, really gives him a chance to show that he can still help a team, be a good veteran, come in and get points and just play hard. Just give him a chance, man. I don’t think he had a fair shake toward the end.”

The third overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, it is believed by some that Anthony could end up joining the Lakers.

Six players returned from last season. That list includes: LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Alex Caruso.

Lakers newcomers include: Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Jared Dudley, Quinn Cook, Troy Daniels and rookie Talen Horton-Tucker.

The Lakers also have a new head coach in Frank Vogel and assistant coach in Jason Kidd.

The table is set and the Lakers also have one final roster spot.

“He is one of the best 300 players in the world that’s not playing,” TNT’s Kenny Smith told me in April.

“You can’t say he’s not one of the best 300 players.”

While he’s been away from the game, he’s been spending a ton of time going to his son, Kiyan’s basketball games.

“He’s a great player,” New York Knick, Lance Thomas told me in December.

“He’s a great teammate, most importantly he’s a great human being and he’s always been a great advocate for the NBA as a brand. So I just want him to get back on a team and play the sport he loves that’s paved a way for him and his family, and he just loves to play basketball, so I really want him back on a team.”

Anthony could actually find his way to a basketball court. Perhaps even as early as this summer.

According to SB Nation: NBA All Stars such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis, James Harden, Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal will all be unavailble to participate in Team USA’s Basketball later this summer.

As a result, they are lacking huge names who will defend USA’s FIBA World Title.

SB Nation’s Mike Prada also suggests that Carmelo Anthony should rep team USA.

He draws on Melo being Team USA’s all-time leading scorer while playing in 85 international games for the red white and blue and his ability to hit three pointers.

“I don’t know if they remember how good of a player he was and still is,” Blake Griffin told Landon Buford last season.

“Sometimes it’s the situation. It sucks to see as a basketball player to see people act [as if] he is something [that] he is not.”

The Golden State Warriors could also use some use some roster help after the departure of Kevin Durant via summer free agency.

Melo to the Dubs?

Anthony would be a veteran that is a reliable spot-up shooter off of the bench.

The Warriors are without Klay Thompson who will miss most of next season while recovering from a torn ACL.

D’Angelo Russell could assume point guard duties with Steph Curry switching to the shooting guard position.

Russell believes that the Warriors will move off of many screen and rolls playing alongside Curry.

“I think it’s an advantage on offense when you have multiple guys on offense that can do everything,” Russell said recently on NBA TV.

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