Anthony — a 10-time All-Star — has averaged 24 points per game in his career, but hasn’t played in an NBA game since November of 2018. After signing a $2.4 million veteran’s minimum deal with the Houston Rockets, he played just ten games for the team before being shipped to the Bulls for the draft rights of Tadija Dragićević. He never played a game in Chicago and was released by the team in January.
“Carmelo had a tremendous approach during his time with the Rockets and accepted every role head coach Mike D’Antoni gave him,” Houston general manager Daryl Morey said in a statement following Anthony’s release. “The fit we envisioned when Carmelo chose to sign with the Rockets has not materialized; therefore we thought it was best to move on as any other outcome would have been unfair to him.”
While he’s been on the sideline for some time, could a 35-year-old Anthony still be a viable contributor in the NBA? Here are the best fits if he does find himself back on the court.
Carmelo Anthony is a Cheap Veteran Shooter the Golden State Warriors Need
Golden State lost star forward Kevin Durant in free agency to the Brooklyn Nets, but have still made some interesting moves to reshape their roster to stay a contender.
The Warriors executed a sign-and-trade for All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell, but had to trade veteran Andre Iguodala away to add cap space. As The Athletic’s Anthony Slater pointed on out , the Warriors are a youthful squad, with Steph Curry being the only player over 30 on the roster.
Anthony would be a cheap veteran who brings a lot to the table. While he’s not the All-Star talent he once was, he could be a reliable spot-up shooter off the bench, something the team desperately needs with Thompson set to be sidelined recovering from a torn ACL for a large part of the season.
With Thompson, Curry and Russell set to take up a good chunk of the cap — nearly 70 percent according to Spotrac.com — the Warriors need to find an affordable solution. Melo might be the key.
Carmelo Anthony Has Long Been Linked to Lakers
Since he was released, there were rumors that Anthony could end up in L.A. with his Banana Boat buddy, LeBron James.
Much like the the Warriors, the Lakers will be strapped for cash paying LeBron, Anthony Davis and possibly even Kawhi Leonard big bucks. It’s a perfect destination for Melo to chase a ring with his buddy.
Carmelo won’t sniff the near 20 shots per game he averaged in his career, but he could be relied on in a pinch to provide scoring off of the bench. And with those three guys on the court, Anthony may be as wide open as he was in the video released of him shooting in a gym draining 3-pointers at a very high percentage.
SNY’s Ian Begley reported this offseason that if there is a team that’s a frontrunner to sign Anthony, it’s the Lakers.
Let’s get this out of the way at the top: things can always change, but most executives monitoring Anthony’s free agency see the Lakers as the most likely destination for the 10-time All Star.
Begley noted that Anthony would be open to a Knicks reunion, giving them an honorable mention nod on this list. But after the massive free agency failure this offseason, that is likely the last thing the reeling franchise wants to do at this point.