The Oklahoma City Thunder and Carmelo Anthony have been in discussion about a potential trade, stretch provision, or buyout over the past couple of days. It has just recently been reported that they will be parting ways at some point this summer. Carmelo Anthony had a player option this offseason worth 27.9 million dollars in which he accepted. The Thunder are well over the salary cap limit so dumping Anthony’s contract would be huge for them. I will be breaking down some possible destinations for Carmelo Anthony after his reported departure from Oklahoma City.
Carmelo Anthony’s Possible Destinations:
1: Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers have had an interesting offseason so far this year. They landed the best player in the league in LeBron James to a 4 year deal. The Lakers have a nice young core around LeBron and had signed some veterans to play alongside him as well. Some of the veterans signed were Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee, Lance Stephenson, and Kantavious Caldwell-Pope. The young core on the Lakers is headlined by Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart. Carmelo Anthony would be a nice addition to the Los Angeles Lakers. Anthony would bring a much needed scoring punch and outside shot to the Lakers. Anthony is best friends with LeBron James and they have always discussed teaming up together. Anthony’s best position in the NBA would be the power forward position where he can dominate on the offensive end due to his scoring ability and can defend that position due to his size. The Lakers lost Julius Randle who provided scoring and rebounding and would have been a nice role player to LeBron. Carmelo and LeBron would form a dynamic duo along with the role players they have brought in to provide support.
2: Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets were the best team record wise in the league last season. The Rockets had the Most Valuable Player in the league in James Harden and a hall of fame point guard in Chris Paul leading the way. Houston filled out their roster with role players who made big contributions in Trevor Ariza, Eric Gordon, and Clint Capela. The Rockets lost the services of Trevor Ariza this offseason when he landed with the Phoenix Suns. Carmelo Anthony and the Houston Rockets were rumored together last offseason when the New York Knicks were looking to trade Carmelo. Carmelo would be a nice addition in Houston at the PF position in which he would provide another scoring option alongside Harden and Paul. Carmelo would stretch the floor with his ability to shot the three and open up more space for the guards to attack. Carmelo and Chris Paul have been linked to eachother for a couple years now in New York and with the Los Angeles Clippers. The only thing that could put a damper in this potential fit is head coach Mike D’Antoni who coached Melo in New York where the two weren’t on the same page and had a dislike towards one another.
3: Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers already have one of the best backcourts in the league in Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. The Trail Blazers have been missing a piece for the past couple of years when it comes to the playoffs. Carmelo Anthony could be an option adding another scoring option to take some pressure off of their stars. Melo and Portland were a potential fit last offseason as well when Melo was getting traded. Melo would provide a much needed scoring option and a guy with a high basketball IQ. Their starting lineup could look like this with Damian Lillard, CJ McCullom, Moe Harkless, Carmelo Anthony, and Jusuf Nurkic.
4: New York Knicks
How about a return to the New York Knicks where he spent 7 seasons and the place he calls home. Carmelo was traded from the Knicks last offseason and a failing through with President of Basketball Operations Phil Jackson. Phil was calling out Carmelo in the media over the past two seasons and it ended Melo’s tenure in New York. Carmelo never really had much help when he was in New York which is why he never brought a championship home but bringing Carmelo back with a new front office and a new coaching staff could provide a spark. The Knicks have a young core and special pieces and adding a dynamic scorer like Carmelo would be a nice addition. New York fans might be suspect to welcoming him back but playing Melo at the power forward position while Porzingis is rehabbing from his ACL injury could be a blessing. Melo plays his best basketball at that position and surrounding Melo with guys like Ntilikina, Hardaway, Knox, Kanter, and Mudiay who can all take pressure off of him could be nice. Knicks fans want something to cheer about next season and a return some one of the best to ever put a Knicks jersey on in a weak Eastern Conference could make a special playoff run. With Porzingis possibly making a comeback late in the season could add a superstar.
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