- With Carmelo Anthony officially parting ways with the Houston Rockets, where will he find his next best fit?
It’s officially over for Carmelo Anthony in Houston.
Prior to Thursday’s clobbering of the Warriors, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey announced the 10-time All-Star is parting ways with the team.
He will not be waived any time soon, and he is not eligible to be traded until Dec. 15. So, for now, he will wait.
When he came to Houston, Anthony agreed to take a lesser role. Will he be willing to come off the bench and shoot fewer shots for another team, though?
His representatives reportedly talked with front offices around the league Monday to figure out potential landing spots for the future Hall of Famer. Let’s go over some places that might be able to use his services.
With Caris LeVert down for an extended period, Brooklyn is going to need more scoring. There is obviously the fear of Anthony breaking up the chemistry of a young team that looked solid to start the season, but his teammates in Oklahoma City and Houston have yet to speak up about him being a locker room issue.
Flipping Melo for Jared Dudley at the four in the starting rotation could be an option. It would allow D’Angelo Russell to continue to focus on getting others involved and it would add a veteran leader who could help the young players as they attempt to get back in the playoffs for the first time since 2015.
The team is deep enough that Anthony could be placed in lineups that suited his scoring approach. Kenny Atkinson could also stagger rotations to keep his offense from getting too bogged down by Anthony isolations. You wouldn’t need him for long in that role, and if he hits, he could be the type of player to at least provide a mental edge in March and April as he mentors players without meaningful late-season experience.
So much is falling on Kemba Walker in Charlotte, as no other player is averaging more than 13 points per game for the Hornets. Anthony averaged 13.4 points in his 10 games in Houston, including three 20-point outings.
Similar to Brooklyn, you don’t want to throw off what James Borrego has been trying to establish. However, Anthony coming off the bench with a fellow future Hall of Famer in Tony Parker could be exactly what Charlotte needs to take the pressure off Walker.
Anthony could help Malik Monk and Jeremy Lamb as they continue to grow into larger offensive roles, and he could play off Parker, who has shown flashes of what made him so beloved in San Antonio.
Playing next to a point guard he trusts could go a long way for Anthony, and with Parker’s craftiness, they could establish a decent pairing.
During the offseason, it reportedly came down to Houston and Miami for Anthony. Hanging out with Chris Paul didn’t go as well as hoped, but maybe he and Dwyane Wade could have more fun in South Beach.
If Anthony went to Miami, he would have a shot at taking on a bigger role when he is on the court. Erik Spoelstra could certainly mix and match lineups in a way that won't make Anthony the focal point, but he could find a night here or there for the former star to show out.
Wade’s presence could help Anthony find an immediate fit in the Heat locker room, and the two vets could provide positive voices in the ears of Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow as they get set to take this team into the future.
And even if Melo can’t get on the court, what’s so bad about spending a few months in Miami with one of his best friends?
Let’s stay with the theme of warm locations where Melo could potentially get some shots off.
The Suns aren’t competing for the playoffs and developing younger players needs to be the key. However, with the way the team is currently performing, Anthony would immediately be one of the best catch-and-shoot options on the roster.
Devin Booker has spent the last few years learning to be a No. 1 option on his own. Working with Anthony in practice might not be the best way to turn him into an elite distributor, but he could always use a few extra moves. You don’t want to make it the focus of his game, but an improved mid-post and a lethal jab stab could help Booker progress even more as a scorer.
Say what you want, but you don’t become one of the NBA’s top-20 scorers by mistake. Anthony knows how to get a bucket, and he could expand the arsenal of one of the league’s up-and-coming scorers.