It is very easy in this generation to take things out of context and especially nowadays in the media and changing their opinion every other day. Carmelo Anthony has been blackballed out of the NBA and I can’t seem to understand why. What I can understand and will try to explain the best way possible to the readers is WHY he deserves to be on an NBA roster. There are 30 teams in the NBA with at least 15 active players on their roster which is (30 x 15) 450 total NBA players and I can guarantee Melo and his Skillset easily can land him in at least the top 100 best.
What Ruined Carmelo Anthony?
With Phil Jackson all but literally getting rid of Carmelo Anthony, it was surely unknown where exactly Melo was going to land during the Summer of 2017. There was only one thing certain and that he did not want to play another game in a Knicks uniform (Can’t really blame the guy). After a long wait, it was finally announced that the Knicks had Traded Carmelo Anthony to the Thunder in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug Mcdermott and a 2018 2nd round pick. This was the beginning of the end for Melo and his NBA career. The Thunder fans and NBA media were eating up the ball-dominant big three of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony. Everyone ranked the Thunder highly along with some of the best big 3’s and obviously, they fell short of expectations. Along with some great performances Melo averaged career lows in the Thunder and his arrogance seemed to get in his way. Melo was simply not accepting the fact that he was the third guy on an NBA team. His ego got in the way of a very mediocre year with great flashes ending with a first-round exit to a Utah Jazz led by a rookie Donovan Mitchell.
Carmelo Anthony 17-18 (Oklahoma City Thunder):
16.2 PPG – 5.8 RPG/ 40% FG – 35% 3P
After the dreadful season, it was very obvious that Melo wanted out of OKC and wanted to find a new home while also demanding he would not come off of the bench. This made it difficult to trade Melo with his contract as he opted in to make $27.9 Million dollars during the 2018-19 NBA season. Pretty much no team in the NBA wanted to pay him that money after his worst season with OKC and they would have to give him a starting role. Carmelo was then involved in a three-team trade that sent him to Atlanta who eventually bought out his contract and he was picked up by the Houston Rockets. This 10 game stretch would be the end of Carmelo Anthony and his high powered offense filled career.
Carmelo Anthony 18-19 (Houston Rockets)
13.4 PPG – 5.4 RPG / 40% FG – 32% 3P
Melo simply did not fit in D’Antoni and the system Daryl Morey himself helped him build. The Rockets started 4-6 and were beginning to become a legitimate concern with their new offensive threat. The Rockets simply wanted to make Melo a spot-up shooter and ask a veteran to change his complete style of play. If the Rockets did there homework they could have avoided signing Melo and ruining his reputation because they could have seen he is not a good spot-up shooter. Chris Paul and Harden were injured in some of these games and the team never had a chance to develop. No chemistry could even begin to form between the big 3 because Melo was not given time to adjust. A players game does not change overnight and the bigger issue in Houston was Melo shot mid-range and it did not fit their identity. Melo with his poor play was also the scapegoat for Houston and while others were already blaming him for the mess in H-Town the Rockets had the perfect bait for the media.
How Carmelo Anthony can Contribute In the NBA
Carmelo Anthony has an extensive offensive package which he uses to approach the game from different angles and has made him the prominent scorer he is. Melo is more of a mid-range shooter and while many would like to point a finger and say it does not work in the NBA. The top talent in the NBA is surrounded by some of the best NBA offenses and they all shoot mid-ranges. Not to compare Melo and KD but the value of the mid-range shot, look at how Golden State had the NBA’S best offense when KD played and they scored more from mid-range than three. Melo can bring his tools to a team who can get him in open space and give him 6-9 seconds to hold the ball and make something happen. His Skillset is perfect for a team in need of a scorer off the bench that can give them a spark like Atlanta, New York, Golden State, and Los Angeles Lakers. One of the key things to note is during the worst stretch of his career both teams that disposed of him played him at Power Forward. This was out of position for Melo which made him play in a difficult spot all those games. For one he has to defend in the post guys that are much taller and stronger than Melo who don’t even need athleticism to score on him. On the offensive end, you now remove the post from Melo where he has excelled his entire career and has cemented his legacy as one of the most versatile scorers. Melo still has a lot to offer to NBA teams and I believe he should be on someone’s favorite team. Defensively Melo can be a liability but there is a multitude of players who are much worse than Melo and are on an NBA roster. Using Melo in an offense where he can get some ISO possessions and a couple of plays in the post then you can put him in the best position possible to be effective. 20-30 minutes a game for Melo and using him to close out games and at most expecting 15-25 points a night and helping to diversify your offense.