What's Next for Carmelo Anthony?
Source: Charles Wenzelberg
Carmelo Anthony was a premier scorer at one point in his career. He had 9 seasons of averaging over 25 points a game and led the league in scoring during the 2012-13 season with the New York Knicks, averaging exactly 28 points. But now the 35-year-old is dwindling in his career and just recently parted ways with the Houston Rockets after only playing 10 games. The question now is what’s the next step in Melo's basketball career?
Carmelo Anthony's stay in Houston was surprisingly short. Melo for the first time in his career was willing to come off the bench and take a smaller role. Carmelo just struggled. His shooting is at just 40.9 percent this season. It’s something that the 10-time all-star can't shake off. Last year with OKC Melo had the worst shooting performance of his career in the 78 games he started. With the Thunder, there was no chemistry with him and fellow all-stars Paul George and Russell Westbrook. Last year’s Thunder team with Melo had only one more win than the Thunder team Russell Westbrook carried the year prior. In the last five seasons, Melo's scoring has dropped. His three-point shooting has also taken a dip, shooting in the lower 30 percentile. His 32.3 percent shooting behind the arc is terrible and doesn’t even place in the top 100 in that category. Melo has had a hard time creating open shots for himself nowadays, and defenses have noticed.
Houston as a team has struggled out of the gate this season. Last year the team was one win away from going to the NBA Finals. With a startling 7-7 record to start the season. This poor start would leave Houston out of the playoffs if they started today. The Rockets big core of Chris Paul and last season’s MVP James Harden have been ice cold. There’s enough time for the Rockets to get their mojo back this season, but what about Anthony?
Carmelo Anthony will have to wait until December 15 if he wants to get traded because he signed as a free agent. If Carmelo clears waivers however, he can go play somewhere else quicker. If that's the case where does he go?
It’s going to be tough considering how unsuccessful he was in OKC and Houston. General Managers around the league will be weary on signing the veteran. With Melo wanting to win a ring, his list of teams should be short. Golden State will be the obvious choice, though Melo's minutes will continue to drop more and more. The Lakers could be another team in the mix. Yes, they’re not a championship team right now but he is LeBron’s buddy and if Lebron thinks Melo can still have a vital role on the team, don’t be surprised if he goes to LA. JaVale McGee could inspire Melo, considering many thought he was on his way out of the league. Boston feels like they need a veteran piece to their lineup and Melo could be a fit. Can Celtics coach Brad Stevens work his magic on Melo like he’s done since becoming the team's coach in 2013? Boston hasn’t set the Eastern Conference a blazed yet so far, but are one of the favorites to go to the finals. Philly and San Antonio could be other destinations for Carmelo. But chances are slim he gets any meaningful minutes on any of these squads.
China could be another option if Melo can’t find any takers in the NBA. The CBA resurrected Stephon Marbury’s basketball career and has been viewed as a basketball God over there. Marbury is a six-time all-star, CBA International MVP, 3 time CBA champion and also won Finals MVP in 2015 for the Beijing Ducks at the age of 38. Marbury hasn’t played in the NBA since 2008. Dwayne Wade was heavily pursued by the Zhejiang Golden Bulls of the CBA in the summer with a big three-year deal at 25 million dollars but elected to finish his career in Miami. 2nd pick in the 2008 draft, and current Laker, Michael Beasley was ballin' in the CBA for a few seasons winning Intentional MVP in 2016. Beasley broke the record in the all-star game by racking up 63 points that same season. It led to him coming back to the NBA where he has been a steady player on the court ever since. Other names like Jimmer Fredette and Ty Lawson are making some noise in the overseas, and while both men are younger, it should help Melo realize that you can continue your basketball career somewhere else. China has been growing the game of basketball over the years and although it's not the NBA, Melo could be their next Stephon Marbury. As weird that sounds.
Retirement is the last option for Carmelo Anthony. If he feels like he doesn’t want to play overseas or teams don’t want him then it might be his best option. Melo has had a great career despite with no rings. Melo is a future Hall of Famer. He's one of the best scorers of his generation. Despite being criticized for taking money over championships, Melo was player at one point you could build around. Yes, Knicks fans I know you think differently. The years he had in Denver and most years as a Knick he was a top 10 player even though he had the potential to be a top 5. If this is it for Melo he'd ranked 22nd all-time in scoring (third among active players) three-time Olympic gold medalist with Team USA, and like I mentioned earlier a 10-time all-star. It might not be the Cinderella ending Melo wanted, but nonetheless a hall of fame career indeed.