The NBA season is less than a month away. Carmelo Anthony is still unsigned, so here are five teams that should consider taking a flier on him.
5. Chicago Bulls:
Wait a minute, Carmelo Anthony was already a member of the Chicago Bulls. But that stint lasted under 24 hours. (He also did this with Atlanta.)
However, Chicago should consider taking a flier on the 35-year-old Anthony. Several players on the Chicago Bulls have dealt with injuries. Wendell Carter, Jr. and Chandler Hutchison each played just 44 games in their rookie seasons, while Denzel Valentine missed the whole season recovering from surgery. No, it likely won’t happen, but it could at least be an option to consider for a young team in need of depth and veterans.
Real Possibility: 0-5%
4. Toronto Raptors
Replace one superstar with another, right? Not quite. Anthony is nowhere close to his prime form, but he could help out a Toronto Raptors team that will be relying on young forwards to improve. A lot of pressure will be put on OG Anunoby to make significant improvements this season; he is going to be their starting small forward this season.
Back-up power forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson struggled mightily with his efficiency and decision-making last season. You might be thinking to yourself, “Aren’t those also Carmelo’s biggest weaknesses?” They sure are, but Melo is a proven scorer and would help out the Raptors’ bench. I doubt the Raptors will go in this direction due to their team brand of basketball, but Melo would be an upgrade to their bench.
Real possibility: 0-5%
3. Brooklyn Nets
Of course, after I started writing this, Shams Charania reported the Nets were unlikely to sign him, but let’s make a case for it anyway. The need for a forward is definitely there. Kevin Durant is out for the season, Wilson Chandler was suspended 25 games for performance-enhancing substances and Rodions Kurucs may be suspended or even released after reports of domestic assault. Kurucs was the Nets’ projected starting power forward, and while Anthony would likely come off the bench, there are certainly minutes available for him.
I think the biggest concern is the toxicity he may bring to a locker room that already has Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, two somewhat toxic teammates. I doubt this deal gets done, but it would make a lot of sense for Brooklyn.
Real Possibility: 5-10%
2. Los Angeles Lakers:
For one, signing Carmelo Anthony would show just how much control LeBron James has over the Lakers’ ownership. It’s worth noting that James and Anthony are close friends in real life. Out of every NBA team, this seems like it could be the highest possible outcome.
With Carmelo playing alongside a veteran and close friend like James, who is still playing at a high level, it will be easier for the Lakers to keep Anthony in check in the locker room. The Lakers have some depth, and Anthony likely wouldn’t play big minutes, but he at least could play over Jared Dudley.
As a general fan of the NBA, I think it would be very cool to see LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard, and Carmelo Anthony all on the same team. Unlike the other NBA teams on this list, there is a real possibility Anthony goes to LA.
Real possibility: 10-15%
1. CBA League (China)
The big question here is if Anthony still doesn’t have an offer by the start of the season, would he retire or play overseas?
In terms of international teams, the Shanghai Sharks are one of the best and most popular; Yao Ming played six seasons there before coming overseas and now owns the team. Jimmer Fredette became a Shark and became the most famous player in China after being labeled a bust in the NBA.
Several notable former All-Stars such as Gilbert Arenas and Tracy McGrady played in the CBA following their time in the NBA. Maybe it’s for Carmelo Anthony to do the same … or retire.
Real Possibility: 20-25%