Carmelo Anthony might be in competition as the biggest drop off on a year-to-year basis.
Last offseason, many of us lauded “Hoodie Melo”, the Melo who balled out during summer league scrimmages against his peers, whilst playing in a hoodie. Coming off a 22 points per game season with the New York Knicks, there were not shortage of teams practically begging to get him to waive his no-trade clause.
How quickly things have changed.
Not only was this the first time in Melo’s career where he scored less than 20 points per game. Although playing with perhaps his most talented teammates with the Oklahoma City Thunder, his game just couldn’t translate into a third option on offense.
Now, with reports from ESPN’s Wojnarowski letting us know the Thunder intend to part ways with him this offseason, there are some places that could be ideal for Melo.
Los Angeles Lakers
This fit is less about the Lakers roster and more about Melo. If your best friend, who has a reputation for maximizing his teammates, doesn’t push for you to finally play with him, what does that say about your skills? Anthony would definitely have to come off the bench and he’d take away minutes from young players who need and probably deserve them more than him. Still, if LeBron James doesnt make a play for him in LA, isn’t that an indictment on Melo?
Another banana boat buddy featured team. Melo finally have a chance to play with Chris Paul, who’d be the best lead guard he’s played with since Chauncey Billups. If you’re looking at him as a replacement for Trevor Ariza, you’d be mistaken. However, if you are looking at him as an upgrade over Ryan Anderson, you’d be looking at it in the proper prism. He’d still have to move away from his iso-heavy preference, but he’d have the proper spacing to maneuver.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers were one of the most vocal teams requesting Melo to waive his no-trade last offseason. For better or worse, their roster hasn’t really changed and they’re still too capped out to make any meaningful moves. While possibly hurting their defense, Melo would add that third option that creates his own shot that the Blazers could really use.
Last but not least, the final team featuring one of his best friends would be the Heat. Fun rumor, Dwyane Wade and Bron begged Melo to take a shorter contract a decade ago, so HE could be the third piece instead of Chris Bosh. Regret is healthy. Miami could use another wing scorer and they have the versatile defensive pieces to hide him on defense. The South Beach diet may be able to revitalize the remnants of his game as well.