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Interested NBA coach wants to know if Carmelo Anthony can still play: ‘It can’t be about a farewell tour’

Carmelo Anthony

Many around the NBA are wondering how long it will take for Carmelo Anthony to make his return to the hardwood. For others, it isn’t that cut and clear that he could return, as the thought of making an NBA roster for the sake of a farewell tour isn’t a viable excuse.

Teams with a roster spot available want to know one pressing question before pulling the trigger to sign Anthony:

“Can he still play, that’s what teams want to know,” said an NBA coach whose team has had internal conversations about pursuing Anthony, according to Frank Isola of The Athletic. “It can’t be about a farewell tour.”

The same could be said about fellow former New York Knicks player Jeremy Lin, who has also struggled to field offers after the free-agent market dried out considerably after the second week of July.

Isola asked an Eastern Conference general manager if Anthony or Lin has a better chance of being in the NBA by the time the upcoming season starts. He replied: “Depends on if LeBron (James) has a roster spot left.”

While the NBA has opted for youth rather than experience ever since the two-way spots became a go-to, players like Anthony and Lin are struggling to get an opportunity not because of the league leaning a certain way, but rather due to the analytics that make them a tough proposition.

Anthony is still a capable scorer, but no team is willing to change its system to favor a perennial bucket-getter who could be retiring after this season. If he can play, he must also be willing to take a lesser role through this patch of his career, or risk never lacing them up on an NBA court again.