We explore the best options for Carmelo Anthony in NBA Free Agency.
Adrian Wojnarowski revealed that Carmelo Anthony would be let go and free to sign with an NBA team of his choosing, once OKC figured out the paperwork for his release. The NBA insider then identified the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Houston Rockets as his most likely destination, all teams looking for a slight edge in competition. They also make up teams with a personal connection to Carmelo Anthony. It's no secret the 2003 NBA Draft class and USA basketball have engendered real life friendships involving players such as Chris Paul, Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.
The Rockets are the team that expressed the most interest in acquiring his services last offseason. If they sort out their contractual differences with Clint Capela, they would be left with a mid level exception to spend on Carmelo Anthony. The veteran big might be persuaded to take a pay cut similar to the salary Dwyane Wade accepted with Cleveland last year, given the fact his former employers still owed him a full year's salary. Melo wouldn't come close to replacing Trevor Ariza's worth ethic for the Rockets, but he provide additional scoring that would prove useful when they confront the Warriors' if ever they meet again.
Los Angeles Lakers
Kyle Kuzma is arguably already a more effective player than Carmelo at this point of their respective careers, but Lakers' management seems to be hell bent on setting a veteran example with all the pranks their young players have pulled off in recent memory. Say what you will about Carmelo Anthony's tangible value as a starter, his approach to "skill mastery" specifically his three point stroke would be a welcome influence on a few broken shooters (won't name names). He's also buds with LeBron James, that's got to count for something.
The third option on the list might be the fit overall. If Carmelo were to join his friend Dwyane Wade on a fairly flexible roster, he would enjoy the benefit of a lineup with endless variations. Inevitably if it comes down to signing one of Melo or Wayne Ellington, the choice is simple: stick to your guns with Ellington. Otherwise Melo would be better off signing in Houston where Ryan Anderson occupies, but his concern is staying healthy, whereas Melo merely needs to rekindle his passion for the game.
What do you think?