Yesterday another NBA trade happened, and while some deemed it a blockbuster, I do not agree. Carmelo Anthony was traded to the Hawks for Mike Muscala and Dennis Schroder, and another team was involved, but only in cash I believe. The "big" names to move were Schroder and Anthony. They were essentially traded for each other, and then the Hawks said they will waive Carmelo the moment they can.
What does this all mean. The Thunder offloaded a guy that they didn't want anymore, a guy that did not help their team at all last year, a guy that openly complained about his role, a guy that refused to come of the bench, basically, a guy that is washed as a pro.
When Carmelo came into the league, I loved his offensive game. He never played any defense, but he didn't his one year in college either. He was an offensive wizard. He could shoot, slash and get to the rim. Hid fade away was a thing to behold. His pull up jumper was great as well. He made the Nuggets relevant and fun when they drafted him. And even when he pushed his way to the Knicks, the first couple of years at least, he was still fun to watch. I also loved watching him on Team USA. That was my favorite Carmelo Anthony. He is such a good spot up three point shooter, and when he tries on defense, he is okay. That was how he played on Team USA. That was who the Thunder thought they were getting.
After growing more and more frustrated in New York, then being asked to play third, some times fourth fiddle in OKC, Carmelo has just fallen off a cliff. I almost feel bad for him, almost. The fact that he picked up his option for 28 million, which I totally get, but the fact that he still picked it up knowing that the Thunder did not want him there, that was some shady shit. I get not passing up 28 million, but Carmelo has made way, way more money than that throughout his career. He even did a spread in ESPN The Magazine where he basically said that he cared more about his brand than titles spoke volumes to me. He is all about making money as an NBA player. He really does not care about a title.
Now that he has been traded for Schroder and Muscala, and people are saying the Thunder won the trade, Carmelo is officially washed. There should be no doubt about that anymore. He has nothing to offer any team. He cannot shoot it like he used to. He has no lift. He doesn't have the speed to cut anymore. And he plays no defense. I'm sure a team will sign him, but if I were a GM, I wouldn't touch him with a ten foot pole, especially after how he performed last year.
I have heard that the Rockets are the front runners to sign him, and if they do, they will regret it. First off, they need to sign Clint Capela before they sign anyone else. Then, they do not need Carmelo. Sure, he is a "big" name to add to 2 other big names, but he is not a big time player anymore. He is not a viable replacement for Trevor Ariza. They should just put Gerald Green in the Ariza role. He is currently a better NBA player than Anthony. And for the Rockets, how is Anthony any better than Ryan Anderson right now. They are the exact same player.
If the Lakers sign him, they will have the most combustible locker room in NBA history. That would be an unmitigated disaster. He would also take crucial minutes away from young, growing guys like Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma.
As far as other "contenders", none of them need Carmelo. The Warriors sure as hell don't need him, and they couldn't afford him anyway. The Celtics don't want that headache. The Raptors just got Kawhi, so they definitely don't need 2 players that don't want to play basketball this year. The 76ers have much better, much younger guys, and the vets they have know their place.
Carmelo needs to let it go. He needs to move on. His best days are far, far, far behind him. His career is over. As much as I used to like watching him play, he is done. Let it go.
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.
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