After being left without an NBA team since February, Carmelo Anthony is finally making his return to the league with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Sure, the 35-year-old forward has his shortcomings, but it’s still quite puzzling how a player as accomplished as Anthony was left unsigned by 30 NBA teams for this long.
The 10-time All-Star, after all, is still one of best scorers out there, with career averages of 24.5 points per game on 44.9 percent shooting from the field and 34.7 from three.
His refusal to come off the bench can be a red flag for most teams, but there’s no denying that Melo can still provide some much-needed boost offensively to whichever team he plays for.
The Blazers were the only ones willing to give Anthony a chance, as they try to improve on their wonky 4-8 start in the 2019-20 regular season.
Here are three other teams that could have certainly used Melo’s services.
With his 2003 draft class batch mates LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh already winning multiple titles, it’s certainly about time Anthony gets a shot at claiming his first Larry O’ Brien trophy.
He failed to do so as the go-to guy with the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks, and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be of service as a reliable role player to reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Mike Budenholzer-led team has made significant upgrades to their reserves this year, but they are still at the middle of the pack in terms of bench scoring, tallying 37.3 points (16th in the league).
The Bucks could have certainly used Anthony’s scoring prowess at the wing, especially with starting forward Khris Middleton expected to be out three-to-four weeks due to a left thigh bruise.
If Anthony certainly does embrace a reserve role in his 16th NBA season, the up-and-coming Sixers could have been a good fit. As good as the team’s starting unit is, the team experiences a significant dip performance wise when Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons head to the bench.
With the team already set at the four position, Anthony could slide back to his preferred place at small forward and get buckets alongside the second unit.
New York Knicks
With the Knicks still looking like they’ll be going nowhere this year, a reunion with Anthony doesn’t actually sound like a bad idea.
Prior to the start of the season, Anthony himself did not rule out a possible return to the franchise he played for seven years. The team still doesn’t have a reliable scoring option they can rely to on a nightly basis. Marcus Morris has assumed that role as of late, but he is still better suited as a second or third option on offense.
The case can be made that Anthony can take away valuable touches from their promising rookie RJ Barett, but learning under the wing of one of the most accomplished players in the league today wouldn’t be so bad for the 19-year-old.