Carmelo Anthony quickly went from star, to role player, to… well, what is going on with Melo now?
There has been an abundance of interesting storylines already in this young NBA season. From Jimmy Butler drama, LeBron leaving Cleveland again, and the Kawhi Leonard/DeMar DeRozan trade all the way down to Joel Embiid’s Twitter game, there has been no shortage of entertainment from the world’s best basketball league.
Now, we have an interesting Carmelo Anthony situation. After breaking off his relationship with the New York Knicks, Anthony spent last season with the OKC Thunder. He refused a bench role, though that is what seemed like the best solution with Paul George and Russell Westbrook in the starting lineup. No one doubted Anthony’s potential when it came to instant offense off the bench.
hypothesis: people think carmelo anthony is still good because "carmelo anthony" is just such a great and cool basketball name -- if his name was charles anderson he'd have been benched months ago— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) April 28, 2018
The fit clearly wasn’t there, so he was traded to the Atlanta Hawks, was waived, and signed with the Houston Rockets ahead of the current NBA season. Suddenly he was ready to accept a bench role. The Rockets had to move some players to make room for him - those players wound up being defensive stoppers, Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute.
Only 10 games into the season, Anthony was averaging 13 and 5 off the bench, shooting 40 percent from the field. The Rockets are off to a more sluggish start than anticipated and their decision for shaking things up is to part ways with Carmelo Anthony.
What is next for Anthony?
The future is certainly hazy for the aging star. He has technically not been waived yet by the Houston Rockets, which is a bit mysterious in and of itself. After two discouraging stops since leaving New York, most teams may have a hard time envisioning a fit for the former All-Star on their roster.
Has his game not aged well? His mentality? His refusal to come off of the bench in Oklahoma City may suggest the latter. Aging gracefully in this game is not always as easy as players like Dirk Nowitzki, Vince Carter, and Dwyane Wade are making it look. Accepting limitations is an important part of being a veteran of the league.
His game - the guy can still shoot. The percentages are not always there, but he is still a capable iso scorer. That just isn’t a desired skillset when it is attached to a player that has lost a step. Especially during a period in which many teams are building young cores while the Warriors run wild.
His defense has never been good, and is likely worse now.
One option for Carmelo is to go the way of Stephon Marbury. Carmelo could make a whole lot of money being the best player in China.
Whatever happens, we will still be paying close attention, as Melo is likely a Hall of Famer after a long career of unstoppable scoring. Keep checking back with The Basketball Movement for more on this and all other things basketball.