After an offseason filled with even more turbulence than the regular season, the Brooklyn Nets are preparing to head to NBA training camp with their roster intact. An already explosive duo of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will add three-time All-Star forward Ben Simmons to the fray. Also returning are sharpshooters Joe Harris and Seth Curry, who are returning from corrective procedures they underwent in the offseason.
The core of the Nets is set for next season, as they hope to redeem themselves from the first-round sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics last spring. But one of the key factors in achieving that goal will be how they round out the roster for this season with role players that can complement their stars.
One of the top available free agents is 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony, who spent last season with the Los Angeles Lakers. One source told NBA insider Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson of Bally Sports that the Nets are in the running to land the All-Star forward. The list of suitors, from highest to lowest, is as follows:
1. Boston Celtics
2. New York Knicks
3. Brooklyn Nets
4. Phoenix Suns
5. Golden State Warriors
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Carmelo’s Next Decision Is Bigger Than Basketball
Carmelo entered the league with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh in 2003. Out of the top five picks of the 2003 draft, Carmelo is the only one who has yet to win a championship. Coming into this season with a roster that is completely retooled and ready to contend, Brooklyn could be the perfect place to do that.
But Scoop B adds that the reasoning behind Anthony’s next decision will be deeper than basketball. Like LeBron, Carmelo has a son who plays high school basketball. His son Kiyan plays for legendary New York City powerhouse Christ the King, whose alumni include two-time Lakers champion Lamar Odom and Speedy Claxton. Robison says that Anthony desires to be in New York City to be closer to his son.
“Carmelo Anthony has had a desire to be in NYC to be close to his son, Kiyan Anthony’s progress,” Robinson adds. “The youngest Anthony is entering his sophomore year at Christ The King High School in Queens, NY. Carmelo Anthony maintains a residence in Manhattan.”
Scoop B: Carmelo, Celtics Makes Sense ‘Logistically’
Though Anthony has prioritized remaining close to his son in New York City, Robinson notes that at least logistically, Carmelo going to the Boston Celtics makes the most sense. For those who may be tardy to the party, newly acquired Celtics forward Danilo Gallinari was diagnosed with a torn ACL on September 2 after injuring himself during a game with the Italian national team.
ESPN’s Tim Bontemps notes that it is the same ACL that Gallinari tore in April 2013 that caused him to miss the entire 2013-14 season after undergoing a pair of surgeries. He also notes typical recovery time for an ACL tear is six to 12 months.
With the newly acquired Celtics forward likely to miss an extended period due to injury, Anthony could be the perfect replacement in Boston.
As one of the most highly touted remaining free agents on the market, it will be interesting to see where Carmelo ends up.