The sun doesn’t rise on Carmelo Anthony’s career, it sets.
With the surefire Hall of Famer currently a free agent with no word on an upcoming signing, is it fair to ask if his illustrious 19-year career is over?
This isn’t the first time the basketball world has wondered if we last saw Melo in an NBA jersey.
After being drafted 3rd overall by the Nuggets in 2003 (sidebar – it’s been almost 20 years and the fact that Darko Milicic was drafted 2nd is still amazing!), Anthony spent his first eight and a half seasons in of the league in the Mile High City, then six and a half seasons as the focal point of the Knicks.
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After leaving New York, Anthony ended up with the Thunder for one season, then with the Rockets for another (well, 10 games to be exact). The Rockets traded Anthony to the Bulls, who promptly traded him, and for a moment it seemed like we’d seen the last of the NBA’s 10-time All-Stars.
It appeared that Anthony, the 2012-13 NBA scoring champion, was banned from the NBA until the Blazers called in the 2019-20 season. Portland jumped at the chance and signed him to a contract.
Anthony played two seasons in Portland and then another with the Lakers, but Carmelo Anthony is once again a free agent and questions about his future have grown louder.
Does Anthony still have a place in the NBA and where could he possibly play next season? The Sporting News breaks it all down for you here.
Is Carmelo Anthony Retiring?
The short answer is no.
Back in March, Anthony dismissed any notion that he might retire at the end of the season, even saying you won’t be hearing the news from anyone other than himself when the time comes.
“Let me tell you right now: you won’t hear a whisper,” Anthony said when asked about retirement. “You will hear it directly from me.”
It’s clear Anthony wants to keep playing, but unlike LeBron James, he doesn’t want to play long enough to play in the league with his son, who can’t be drafted until 2026 at the earliest – when Carmelo will be 41.
“No. No, I will not do that.” Melo said when asked if he had similar plans to LeBron.
How good is Carmelo Anthony?
Anthony played surprisingly well during his only season with the Lakers. He opened the season with a riot, scoring at least 20 points in five of the team’s first 11 games.
In 69 games (three starts), he averaged 13.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per game with 44.1 percent shooting. He even increased his 3-point percentage to 37.5 percent, from 35.5 in his career.
He scored his season-high 29 points this preseason in early November against the Hornets.
At 38, Anthony’s athleticism and explosiveness aren’t what they once were, but he’s proven during his time with the Blazers and Lakers that he can reinvent himself as a 3-pointer and make a valuable contribution to a team .
If he ends up back with the Lakers with another preseason to get used to his teammates, that production would improve as well.
Potential teams for Carmelo Anthony
- Los Angeles Lakers: Anthony spent last season with the Lakers and contributed productively in his 26 minutes per game. At times he was an instant attacker off the bench, which was vital for a team lacking in that department. At first it looked like the Lakers wouldn’t be bringing Melo back, but apparently they have “productive talks” about bringing him back.
- Strong heat: The Heat recently lost PJ Tucker to the 76ers, and while Anthony can’t replace the defensive nous Tucker brought to Miami, he will be able to shoulder a greater offensive load for the roster. This might be Melo’s best option if he wants to contribute to a championship-level team and win a ring, unless…
- Phoenix Suns: The Suns are another team that’s among the best in the league defensively, and Melo would get a chance to team up with longtime friend Chris Paul. How cute would it be if they finally won their first ring together?
- Brooklyn Nets: Melo to the Nets has been a “thing” since its Denver days. Returning to New York to play for the Nets could be an option, but unless Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are both there, it’s hard to imagine that coming to fruition.
- New York Knicks: If Melo decides he’s content with his ringless career, then returning to the Knicks as a seasoned mentor is the fairytale ending to his basketball journey. If the Knicks land Donovan Mitchell to play alongside Jalen Brunson, RJ Barrett and Julius Randle, it could be an ideal situation for Melo to come in and be the experienced leader for the young core. And the Knicks fans would love it too.