Carmelo Anthony in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform is believable to Gilbert Arenas.
“Melo plays if Melo wants to play,” Gilbert Arenas told Dallas, Texas NBA writer, Landon Buford.
“At 35, he has a bunch left in the tank, but is he willing to sacrifice what he perceives he still has versus what teams need.”
Anthony hasn’t played NBA basketball since November 8, 2018, in a game against his former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Anthony had mutual interests toward the end of last season — until a mound of LA losses occurred. The team has had quite a busy offseason thus far, and 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.
Could Carmelo Anthony be the missing piece? “I think next season a team will possibly bring him in,” NBA Hall of Famer, Grant Hill told me.
The Lakers do have one final roster spot and many believe that Carmelo Anthony still has some game left in the tank to compete against many of the NBA’s elite.
“His first year in the league, he took a 17-win Nuggets team to the playoffs in the West as a rookie,” said Fox Sports’ Chris Broussard.
“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.”
Gilbert Arenas tells Landon Buford that the Lakers could use Melo.
“They might need a guy to come in and play spot minutes,” said Agent Zero.
“He is still a guy that thinks he is a star. Now, you have two realms of thought processes that need to meet in the middle. But the first person that must buy-in is Melo. Then show that he can buy in during the season versus saying: ‘nah I am not coming off anybody’s bench. I think I can’t still average 20, but you can still average 15 to 20.’ However, you must put yourself into position first to show them.”
Anthony has been working out with members of the Brooklyn Nets in Los Angeles.
According to a report by SNY’s Ian Begley and Anthony Puccio, Anthony and the Nets have participated in informal workouts.
Per Puccio and Begley: “It is unknown if the Nets are one of the teams that Anthony and his representatives have talked to about a potential signing. The club’s interest level in signing Anthony to a contract is also unknown.”
Melo to Brooklyn from a basketball standpoint makes sense.
The Nets have a potent roster with names like Caris LeVert, Joe Harris and Spencer Dinwiddie complimenting Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
The Nets will likely be without Durant this season as he recovers from a ruptured Achilles tendon.
“He could be a bench player asset to play and may be a good cheap replacement in a sense for KD this season,” Josh Hicks of Chicago’s Regal Radio suggested to me this afternoon.
Nonetheless, the Nets have a huge season ahead.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Nets center, Jarrett Allen told AM New York’s Derrel Jazz Johnson.
“I feel like I had a pretty good season last year. I have a lot to show them. I have a lot of knowledge in my mind that I can share with them.”
Shaquille O’Neal likes the new-look Nets because it gives New York something to talk about in hoops other than the New York Knicks.
“Jay-Z gave them a little steam when he said he was the owner,” Shaq told Scoop B Radio.
“He’s going to be there with KD so they should make a lot of noise. The only unfortunate part for the first time in New York history the Knicks aren’t the important team. That’s kind of funny to me.”
To the issue of Melo, Gil Zero thinks Anthony has to make the best possible decision. “I remember the reports named Houston as a possible destination for him to land,” Arenas told Landon Buford about Melo’s decision to sign with the James Harden and Chris Paul-led Rockets last summer.
“I said: ‘Hell no’ don’t go there it is going a disaster and it is not going to work.’ You just for the first time in your career played with two ball-dominant players and it made you the third option. So, to go right back to a team that is going to make you again the third option is a disaster.
Agent Zero is now lobbying for Melo to LA.
“Go to the Lakers where you might come off the bench,” Arenas told Landon Buford.
“But you are going to be the first option in the fourth quarter because [that] is what they are going to need from Melo. They need a 6’9 guy that can open up the floor, play your iso basketball and that helps the rest of the Lakers. LeBron passes to everyone else and you play iso basketball, it all works. He goes to Houston and after ten games he is gone.”
A 10-time NBA All-Star, Anthony has averaged 24.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists in his 16-year career with the Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets.
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.”
Now, the 35-year-old is waiting for the best deal to come around.
While he’s been away from the game, he’s been spending a ton of time going to his son, Kiyan’s basketball games.
“Melo needs to me in a position where the last five minutes of the game he is the go-to guy,” said Gilbert Arenas.
“If you are not the go-to guy what are you on the court for? Because [he] don’t have any other skill to be used. You are a fourth-quarter last five-minute iso guy that is your skill.”
Melo is a long small forward that can score in a number of ways in today’s game. That skillset fits the Lakers in Arenas’ mind.
“The Lakers don’t have someone that is in their bag in the last five minutes,” he said.
“That is where Melo gets to be Melo. Players have to know their own talents in order to know where they can insert themselves, and position yourself within an organization that plays to your skillset.”