The Golden State Warriors could add a third Splash Brother this offseason, one insider speculated.
After two straight seasons that ended short of the playoffs, the Warriors are looking to reload in 2021-22 with the expected return of Klay Thompson. A number of insiders believe that the team could look to make some key acquisitions this offseason in order to build another title-contending team, and one of those targets could be a six-time All-NBA star.
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Warriors Could Take Aim at Melo
In a discussion on the Locked on Warriors podcast, Bram Hillsman of Warriors Huddle speculated that Golden State could make a run at Carmelo Anthony this offseason. Hillsman said it must be difficult on Anthony to see friend Chris Paul finally reaching the NBA Finals, a stage that Anthony has never seen in his own career, and a move to Golden State could help him finally get a ring.
Podcast host and Mercury News reporter Wes Goldberg noted that the Portland Trail Blazers need to improve their defense and the Warriors are looking to boost their offense, so it could make sense that Anthony could move to the Bay Area.
As Goldberg noted, the Warriors had a built-in advantage in recruiting players during their five-year run to the NBA Finals as they were the only elite team on either the East Coast or West Coast at the time, making them a default destination for many in-demand free agents. With the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers both in title contention and the New York Knicks on the rise, he noted that competition for players has grown more fierce. That makes it more likely that the Warriors would look for players who could fit within the mid-level exception or one who could come on a veteran minimum contract, he added.
With the Warriors, Anthony could potentially play the same role he has in Portland, bringing some scoring prowess off the bench. He averaged 13.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game last year with Portland’s second unit, shooting 42.1 percent from the field including 40.9 percent behind the three-point arc.
Competition Could Be High
The Warriors may not be the only team looking to land Anthony this offseason. As Lindsey Wisniewski of NBC Sports Northwest noted, the Lakers are reportedly interested as well and could give Anthony the chance to play with another longtime friend.
“Melo joining the Lakers wouldn’t be a surprise,” she noted. “Since high school, he and James have been best friends and two of the greatest players in the NBA. With Melo now 37 and LeBron 36, the two could team up in LA so Melo can finally go out with a ring of his own.”
But as Wisniewski added, Anthony himself has said that he wants to end his career with the Trail Blazers, so a return to Portland may be the most likely option.
“I feel like this is the place for me to end my career,” he said in Jan. 2020. “It could have happened earlier, but it didn’t. Now, where I’m at in my life and my career—this is where I want to retire.”