Celtics True Interest in Carmelo Anthony Revealed: Sources

Carmelo Anthony, Boston Celtics

Getty Carmelo Anthony, Boston Celtics

Brian Robb of MassLive reported on September 9 that the Boston Celtics were “not expected to have interest” in 10-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony heading into training camp. Robb then went on explain why he believed the Celtics had no interest in Anthony, even after losing Danilo Gallinari to an ACL tear.

“Anthony did a respectable job turning into more of a role player during the last two seasons in LA and Portland, but there’s a reason the Lakers (and everyone else) haven’t brought in at this point. He’s 38 years old, and his teams have been at the bottom of the league in defensive rating for the last three years with him playing big minutes.”

A Western Conference executive revealed to Heavy that the Celtics like Anthony, but there was one concern they had about potentially adding him.

“They like (Carmelo), most teams do, but there is a fear that he could be disruptive — not him as a player, just his presence,” the exec said. “It’s a distraction, and teams want to avoid distractions. Most teams, at least.”

The executive added that while signing Anthony makes sense from the Celtics’ standpoint, he doesn’t believe there had ever been any traction.

“He makes sense there, and I think a lot of the stuff that has come out is more just ‘He makes sense’ rather than ‘They’re out there chasing him,'” the exec said. “It all adds up to it being a lot of smoke around him, but I don’t see any real fire there. Even with (Gallinari) out, I think they like where they are.”

Anthony has remained a free agent after spending the 2021-22 season with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Celtics May Have Interest in Anthony Later on

While Robb reported that the Celtics were not expected to have interest in Anthony, he also speculated that there could be interest in Anthony down the line.

“I could see the Celtics making that call later in the year if they need some scoring punch off the bench, but the logical first step seems to be giving the young guys more of an opportunity. That includes Sam Hauser as well as a number of big men in the running for roster spots.”

Hauser has worked his way up since joining the Celtics on a two-way contract last summer. Hauser signed a standard contract mid-season, then signed a three-year deal with the Celtics this summer.

Kendrick Perkins Urges Celtics to Sign Anthony

On September 14, former Celtics center Kendrick Perkins urged the team to bring in Anthony because of his ability to score.

“What are (the Celtics) waiting on?” Perkins asked. “(Carmelo) has already showed us that he’s willing to take a lesser role. He’s still a bucket. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen ain’t all. You still got (Carmelo) coming in off the bench. You’re not asking him to do much. You’re asking him to come in and get you 12-15 points consistently doing that every night. (Carmelo) is doing that in his sleep.”

Perkins later explained how the Celtics could cover up Anthony’s defensive shortcomings.

“You’ve got enough defenders around him, and he’s going to put forth the effort. I understand that some may say he’s a liability, but the way the Celtics are constructed with those anchors that they do have and the perimeter guards that they have to defend, they could hide (Carmelo).”

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