The REAL Reason Why Carmelo Anthony Is NOT In The NBA
Carmelo Anthony is out of the NBA and no team has given Carmelo a shot after getting cut with the Rockets, but why will no team give Melo a shot? #Carmelo #NBA
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Carmelo Anthony got cut 10 games into the season with the Rockets and hasn’t been in the NBA since. Apparently Melo is better than 70 of the league according to Chris Broussard. Never trust Chris Brousssard, but it’s been weird that Carmelo hasn’t found a spot on a NBA roster, especially with guys like Anthony Bennett coming back to the league.
In order to see why Carmelo isn’t in the NBA, we need to look at all the possible reasons that GMs and teams don’t wanna take a chance with Carmelo. I don’t think it’s ever been about Carmelo’s talent. I’ve made the case for the Lakers to pick up Carmelo and I believe he’s good enough to help a second unit. Carmelo in 10 games with the Rockets averaged 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds a game shooting 41% from the field and 33% from 3 along with 68% from the free throw line in 29.4 minutes a game. The good thing is that we saw Carmelo drop 28 against the Nets and hit threes off of catch and shoot situations mixed in with a little iso. We also saw Melo turn in a 2 point night against the Thunder. Yes, going 4-6 to start, but almost the whole roster struggled without their assistant coach Jeff Bzeldelik, who was really their defensive coordinator. There were reports that Jeff Bzdelik would only return if Carmelo wasn’t on the team. Carmelo is the main reason that Bzdelik was fired in Denver because of a falling out with Carmelo.
On the Rockets, Melo took a career high 6.4 3s a game despite taking a career low 12.1 shots a game. Yes, Carmelo, the midrange assassin, the jab step extrordinaire reduced the amount of 2s he took to only 5.7 a game. I mean, look at those jab steps.
There’s the uncertainty about his actual skill. While the Rockets wasn’t a good showing, it wasn’t enough to make a conclusion on what Melo can still provide. The Rockets had wanted Melo for 3 years and told him he was the missing piece they needed. Melo did shoot 36% from 3 but 40% from the field on the Thunder scoring 16.2 points per game, but it was definitely not the best season. Melo’s Thunder season was the precedent that set the tone for the rest of his career.
Carmelo Anthony was resistant to being a bench player on the Thunder. Championship teams don’t need a supposed iso scorer or average three point shooter starting. Young teams don’t need a guy like Carmelo taking away shots from developing talent, teams in the middle are usually looking for a second superstar and not sure about what Carmelo could do. While shooting more 3s and being willing to come off the bench was a great sign, I don’t think that Carmelo ever understood that what he brings to the table is just less than what he did before. Carmelo’s defense was also trash. Carmelo ranked 77th in defensive plus/minus out of 91 total power forwards.
But the main reason that Carmelo isn’t getting that call from the NBA is that Melo is a 35 year old project. Melo was unfortunate to be in an era where NBA players were sort of expected to play at a higher level for longer. But even with LeBron as the anomaly, Kobe averaged 27 points at the age of 34. MJ was winning championships at 34.
Carmelo at the age of 35 has never once been in the NBA Finals. He’s in an unsure place in terms of his roll. You don’t know exactly what you’re getting offensively and you’re getting a defensive liability at the age of 35. Where most 35 year olds know what they bring to the table and understand what role they need to be, Melo is a sort of project without the upside of talent growth. I don’t think it’s a question on if he’s willing to adjust, because he is, it’s a question of what that means for his game. He’s redefining his game for the modern NBA, but we haven’t seen the complete change. So the last full season we saw him play was on the Thunder when he was pretty stubborn in his play style. And I mean, he’s still doing this. That makes him a tough sell for any team because of other 35 year old vets that might not have the same offensive firepower, but are sound in everything else. Guys like Andre Iguodala have championship experience and defense, while hitting big shots.
Do I still think that Melo deserves to be in the league. Yes. I still believe he should be with the Lakers, but I’m looking at this from the perspective of NBA executives and GMs who simply have not picked up Melo. It makes sense why a guy who everyone seems to like, who talent-wise, is better than a lot of players in the league, isn’t getting picked up by teams, because in their eyes, he’s not worth the effort. That’s reality. But what do you think? Will Melo ever play in the NBA again? If he does, how will he play?