In the wake of the Golden State Warriors‘ title-clincher on Thursday, owner Joe Lacob pushed back on the notion that he had bought the team’s latest championship. “All of our players are guys that we drafted or minimum signings except for one [Wiggins] trade. One trade and no free agent beyond the minimum,” Lacob told The Athletic.
“How can you say we bought the title? It’s crazy.”
There’s no doubting Lacob’s assessment from a roster-building standpoint. That said, the team’s exorbitant payroll is also very much a thing. As of now, the Dubs have more than $171 million committed to just eight players next season. So, the team will once again have to rely on minimum signings to fill out its roster.
If this year’s championship run has shown anything to be true, though, it’s that the Warriors will have an ability to make high-impact signings at bargain-basement prices. See Porter, Otto and Iguodala, Andre.
In the same vein, 10-time NBA All-Star and future Hall of Famer Carmelo Anthony could be the next discount addition to boost the club’s bench.
Something Left in the Tank
After his ill-fated run with the Oklahoma City Thunder came to an end, many believed that Anthony’s goose was cooked. When he washed out with the Houston Rockets shortly thereafter, his career definitely appeared to be circling the drain.
Over the last few years with the Portland Trail Blazers and the LA Lakers, however, Melo has shown that he still has something to offer as a stretch big and second-unit maven. During a year when the latter club failed spectacularly after being annointed a pres-season title favorite, the 38-year-old was one of the precious few bright spots in La La Land.
In 69 appearances with the Lakers in 2021-22, Anthony averaged 13.3 points and 4.2 boards per game while connecting on 44.1% of his field-goal attempts and 37.5% from three-point range.
It’s not difficult to envision him posing a similar threat for the Warriors’ second unit, perhaps in the 4/5 spot that was occupied by Nemanja Bjelica this season. He could even fill in as a spot starter in the frontcourt when the injury bug inevitably bites, as Porter was called upon to do at various junctures.
Melo would bring more than his on-court game to the Bay Area, though.
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Melo the Elder Statesman
In column for New York Post+, Knicks insider Marc Berman made a strong case for Anthony’s former team to bring him back into the fold for 2022-23. One of the central points to his argument was the impact that Melo could have on New York’s talented youngsters.
Over the course of 19 NBA seasons, Anthony has learned all the do’s and don’ts. Who better than Anthony to tutor RJ Barrett on how to handle being a star player in New York?
And wouldn’t someone who has lasted as long as he has because of his love of the game, not just his talent, be a positive influence on youngsters such as Immanuel Quickley, fellow Brooklynite Obi Toppin and Cam Reddish, the enigma who plays Anthony’s position at combo forward?
Now, take out those Knicks names and replace them with Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, James Wiseman and Moses Moody and the same principle still applies. All four of the Dubs’ fledgling ballers have been branded potential stars; for his part, Poole is already on the precipice. As Berman wrote, “Who better than Anthony” to help show them the way?
And, unlike the situation in NYC, he may just get that elusive championship ring for his efforts.