The Rockets were finally able to trade Carmelo Anthony. The deal went down yesterday, and when I heard about it, it actually made me a little sad for him. I have been hard on Carmelo lately. I genuinely believe that he is done. I feel like his best days are far, far, far behind him. I think he is a problem in the locker room. I think he still thinks he is a star. He isn't even a starter anymore. This is how I feel, and I think his career is over.
When I saw the team he was traded to, the dreadful Chicago Bulls, I couldn't really believe it. I mean, I said he is done, but the Bulls, yikes. I then heard about 20 minutes later, that they were going to buy his contract out and release him. That is the second time this has happened to him already this season. When he was traded from OKC he went to Atlanta. They bought him out right away, and then he signed with the Rockets. Now the Bulls are doing the same, and, while he may think he has options, I don't agree.
I read an article on Bleacher Report that talked about his best bets, and some teams that may be interested in him. It was insightful. The teams I saw made zero sense. But, there were 2 things that I thought were plausible. The teams they mentioned were the Lakers, 76ers, Trailblazers and Nets.
I do not want the Nets to sign him. They are actually kind of fun, they are in the playoff race and they have a young core that seems to work for them. They also have Caris Levert coming back soonish, and he is a younger, and better defensively, than Carmelo is, and ever was. I feel like if the Nets were to sign him, he would stunt a ton of young guys growth. Guys like Spencer Dinwiddie and D'Angelo Russell and Jarrett Allen don't need a washed up vet that would take time from younger and better players. He does not fit in with that team, and the Nets are finally doing decent things. They don't need the headache.
The Trailblazers mention makes zero sense. They already have 2 much, much better scorers that play the same position. I mean, CJ McCollum is a better three point shooter and creator. And Damien Lillard is an amazing NBA player and scorer. Why do they need Anthony? What does he bring this team? How does he make them any better? This one is the most puzzling team to me. They have 2 great guards, they have a solid big, what they need is a stretch 4, and Carmelo is not anywhere near any kind of 4. The Trailblazers are set in stone as a West playoff team and bringing in Carmelo would make them look just like the Thunder when they traded for him 2 years ago. It would be a mess.
The 76ers need to stay far, far away from him. They do not need any parts of Carmelo. He will do nothing but push that team back. They are already dealing with the whole Jimmy Butler thing, why would they want that times 2 with a far worse player? And putting him in that locker room, with Butler, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz, that would be a nightmare. They also don't need him. They don't need him at all.
And then we have the Lakers.
This one makes the most sense, but it would be awful. It would make them much worse. If they sign him, they would be very, very hard pressed to stay in the playoff race. I know they have LeBron, but not even he can save Carmelo. And I know he and LeBron are buddies, he has always wanted to play on a team with him, and this is probably their last chance. But whatever you do LeBron stay away. You cannot bring this dude to this young team that you are trying to turn into a perennial playoff contender in the West. You are also coming off a pretty bad, for you at least, injury. LeBron has never been hurt like this before, and the Lakers are struggling without him. The last thing they need is Carmelo. Think about it. They have this young core that is trying to learn how to play with LeBron. Some are doing okay, Josh Hart, Lonzo Ball and, especially Kyle Kuzma. But others are struggling. Brandon Ingram comes to mind first and foremost. Also, the Lakers already have a very odd group of veterans on one year deals. Do you really want to add Carmelo to a team that has Javale McGee, Michael Beasley and Rajon Rondo? Why? That would spell doom. And he wouldn't even add anything at all to this team. He isn't the scorer he once was. He isn't the shooter he once was. He plays no defense. He thinks he is a starter and a star. He is done. He is washed. This would be GM LeBron's worst decision ever. The Lakers need to stay away. They shouldn't touch him with a ten foot pole. This would not only be bad for GM LeBron, but it would make Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson look like they are letting LeBron run things. It would also be absolutely awful for Luke Walton.
There are no winners here. None of these teams make any sense for Carmelo. What I did see that made sense was his other 2 options. They said he should go to China or retire. These 2 choices make sense. In China he would be king. Look at what Stephon Marbury has done over there. He is a legend. Carmelo is better than Marbury. He would dominate. He also wouldn't have to play any D, and he could just shoot mid range jumper after mid range jumper. Hell, if Marbury and Jimmer Fredette are dominating over there, imagine what Carmelo could do.
The one option that makes most sense is retirement. He should hang it up. He has done all he can do in the NBA. He has gone as far in the regular season and playoffs as he can. He is never going to win a title. He is never going to be an All Star again. He is not a starter. He is not even a 10th man off the bench. He doesn't have it anymore. If he were to walk away right now I think people would forget the last 2 years. I think people would start to talk more about his time with the Nuggets and Knicks. He is also a surefire hall of famer regardless of when he walks away. If he does it now, he would get in much sooner. It makes so much sense for him to just call it quits. That is what I believe he should do. He's done as an NBA player, and I think he feels like he is above playing overseas.
Just let it go Carmelo. Time to retire.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet.
SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.