Nets should sign Carmelo Anthony
It’s been almost a year since Carmelo Anthony played an NBA game. After only ten games with the Rockets and a years’ worth of courting, Anthony was waived from Houston. No one thought fans would go this long without seeing the perennial scorer suit up again, but that is exactly what happened. Though tied to many teams, Anthony has yet to get the call from any of them over the course of the last year. However, last week reports surfaced that Anthony worked out with the Brooklyn Nets. Since then, no one has really heard anything. Even still, if there is even some truth to a possible signing, the Nets should make the move.
The Tale of Melo
It’s not a huge surprise that Anthony has gone this long without a team. To be blunt about it, he was black balled. As Stephen A. Smith put it, there are simply not 450 players on the planet better than Carmelo Anthony. Thus, it stands to reason that his alienation from basketball has to do with more than just the game.
After years with the New York Knicks, Anthony developed a reputation as someone who could be difficult. Under former President of Basketball Operations, Phil Jackson, Anthony never flourished. The team was unable to advance in the playoffs and Anthony was seen as the culprit. Many called for his resignation, which resulted in him being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Once he made it out West, the new big three of Anthony, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook was born. However, after a lack luster season from Anthony, the team never broke out of the first round of the playoffs.
Prospects looking slim and still walking around with that tarnished reputation, Anthony was picked up by Houston. The team had been chasing him since he was still a member of the Knicks. All seemed like it would line up for a great season, but ten games in proved otherwise. The team suffered, unable to find the chemistry between James Harden, Chris Paul, and Anthony. Thus, the team parted ways from the newly acquired swingman and never looked back. Since then, Anthony’s name has bounced around in rumor mills, but he has yet to get picked up by a team. Now it seems like Anthony’s vacation from basketball may be coming to an end.
The Nets make sense
It’s not hard to imagine Anthony making a move to Brooklyn. The team underwent a complete turnaround by signing Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and DeAndre Jordan. However, in light of the devastating injury to Durant’s leg, the team will not be at full power when the season opens in October. Thus, there will be an apparent scoring vacancy in Brooklyn, one that Anthony can certainly fill.
If anyone has watched his work out videos, one thing is clear: Anthony still has it. Sure, he may not drop 30 points a game if he returns. However, that doesn’t mean he cannot be a worthwhile and scary scoring presence for his future team. He could fit on the Nets, both in the short term and long term future. The question is would he be willing to take a reduced role?
Can Anthony really thrive in a reduced role?
Anthony and those that know him believe that he can take a reduced role if he makes an NBA return. Yet, does that really work for him? He wasn’t good at being the third option on the Thunder or the Rockets. Next season, if he joins the Nets, he may be a number two or three to Irving while Durant recovers. However, the league has never successfully seen him in a role where he wasn’t the number one option.Moreover, when Durant returns, he may drop down to a third or fourth option. Understandably, this is an adjustment that any former superstar would have to make. If he can adjust, Anthony may help solidify the Nets as true threat next season. If he can’t, however, his retirement may be on the horizon.
Carmelo Anthony wants to play basketball at a high level once again. He believes he can do it in a reduced role and he may do it for Brooklyn. There’s no question, he can fit on the team as short term Durant replacement. He could also make an impact if he remains in the fold once Durant does returns. If Melo can make the prove that he can thrive in that reduced role, then the Nets shouldn’t hesitate to sign him.