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3 ideal free agent destinations for Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

In his two seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, Carmelo Anthony proved that he’s capable of thriving as a secondary scoring option, as well as a bench scorer. Across his last two seasons, Anthony averaged a combined 14.3 points per game while shooting 39.9 percent from beyond the arc (28.3 minutes per contest), playing alongside Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

Carmelo Anthony is a smooth scorer. He can bang in the post and create enough separation for jump shots. Furthermore, he has become a very efficient outside shooter.

At 37, Carmelo Anthony can still be a key player for a contending team, serving as instant offense and an outside shooting option. In all likelihood, he will want to play for a team that has a legitimate chance at winning the NBA Finals given it being the largest void in his career.

Here are three ideal free agent destinations for Carmelo Anthony.

Carmelo Anthony landing spots:

3) Los Angeles Lakers

Carmelo Anthony has never made more sense for the Lakers than he does in the present.

Any team wants to surround its stars with complementary players. Teams also need players who can simply score, which is what Anthony would do for the Lakers’ second unit. He’d be one of the catalysts off the bench, perhaps coming in the game when Anthony Davis needs a breather. Regardless of whether the Lakers make an impact trade for the starting five, Anthony can find a niche in head coach Frank Vogel’s offense.

The Lakers could have Anthony on the floor with LeBron James and Anthony Davis at the end of games if the situation at hand becomes a half-court affair. You put Anthony on the floor because of his ability to score in a variety of ways and slow the game down. Roughly half of the Lakers’ rotation from last season is hitting the free-agent market this offseason. Carmelo Anthony can likely be had at or near the league minimum and would add outside sniping to a team that was 21st in the NBA in three-point shooting percentage last season (35.4 percent).

Why wouldn’t the Lakers take a short-term flier on Carmelo Anthony? While his name is mentioned in every trade rumor regarding the team’s future, the Lakers could run it back with Kyle Kuzma off the bench and re-sign Talen Horton-Tucker.

2) Philadelphia 76ers

One way or another, the 76ers need some new blood. Carmelo Anthony would be a welcome addition to their operation.

Anthony would join a well-versed Philadelphia bench. A potential second unit of Anthony, Shake Milton, Tyrese Maxey, and Matisse Thybulle would be a grouping that features multiple shooters and capable scorers, specifically with the first three players. Carmelo Anthony would be utilized as a stretch four. Milton and Maxey can attack off the dribble, allowing Anthony to get clean looks from distance.

Anthony would also serve as Tobias Harris’ backup. The former would sub in for the latter and likely start if Harris is sidelined for whatever reason. There’s also the ongoing end-of-game conundrums the 76ers put themselves in with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid on the floor. Carmelo Anthony offers head coach Doc Rivers another player he can go to in crunch time if the perplexing woes continue on that end of the floor in both the regular season and postseason.

Teams wouldn’t be primarily focused on Carmelo Anthony, opening the door for an ambush bucket for the veteran. You can’t have enough offensive variety in the NBA.

Why aren’t the 76ers the best fit for Anthony? Frankly, there’s just a team that’s a bit of a better fit for him.

1) Miami Heat

There are countless ways the Miami Heat can improve themselves this offseason. In any case, Carmelo Anthony fills a void for head coach Erik Spoelstra’s rotation.

Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro will be isolation threats. Bam Adebayo will be all over the floor. Everything else is a mystery. Carmelo Anthony would be another player who can serve as a player who can sink jump shots from mid-range and beyond. His veteran pedigree fits in well on a team with a healthy balance of veterans and youngsters.

Given the low salary that should come with Anthony’s services, the Heat can add the veteran, who would presumably play at least 15 minutes per contest, and make other impactful moves for their rotation. That includes re-signing one or both of Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson while also adding another high-minute rotation player.

In the scenario that the Heat want Precious Achiuwa to start at power forward, Anthony can be the backup four. On the other hand, he can be one of the first forwards off the bench if the Heat make a profound move for their starting frontcourt. Carmelo Anthony mulled going to Miami in 2014. He’s a veteran looking for a ring. Erik Spoelstra is trying to get his team back to the NBA Finals. Pat Riley is likely getting anxious. An Anthony-Heat marriage works for all.