Carmelo Anthony Rumors: Will Melo Stay With OKC Or Will He Struggle As Third Option For Thunder?

Carmelo Anthony rumors aren’t going to go away just because the Oklahoma City Thunder acquired him from the New York Knicks. Anthony now has to prove that OKC didn’t make a mistake by bringing him in as part of a new “big three” in the NBA. During the offseason, the Knicks sent Anthony to the Thunder in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a future second-round draft pick. OKC also acquired Paul George from the Indiana Pacers, with the intent to combine the two All-Star players with Russell Westbrook.

A report by Sports Illustrated on Wednesday (October 11), asked some of the difficult questions that Carmelo Anthony and the Oklahoma City Thunder are going to face during the 2017-18 NBA season. A primary point of a podcast discussion between two SI analysts was whether or not Anthony is ready to become the third option on offense. Can the former leader of the New York Knicks take on a role like that with a new franchise? There is going to be a lot of pressure placed on him to perform and for OKC to be competitive right out of the gate.

“The person who is going to be under intense scrutiny this year is Melo. He’s the first scapegoat if things don’t work out. Melo definitely doesn’t think of himself as the third option, he just doesn’t. People need to stop saying he’s going to come in this year embracing a new role, he’s not wired that way. Paul George is probably not going to take heat because if they struggle, a lot of people will sympathize with George and say he just need’s a better situation.”

There are going to be a lot of new Carmelo Anthony rumors no matter how good the Oklahoma City Thunder might be to open the 2017-18 NBA season. Anthony has a player option for next year that is worth roughly $28 million. He still hasn’t given official confirmation that he will stick with OKC after this year. This is where there could be a number of NBA trade rumors that include his name if the team gets off to a rough start. That’s a bit down the road though.

Through four preseason games, Anthony has averaged 15.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. He is playing 21.1 minutes a night while shooting 40.7 percent from the field. Paul George has averages of 20.2 points and 6.8 rebounds in 31.8 minutes a game, while Russell Westbrook is at 12.7 points, 6.0 assists, and 2.3 rebounds per game. OKC has gone 3-1 in those games, with wins against the New Orleans Pelicans, Melbourne United, and the Denver Nuggets. The loss was to the Houston Rockets.

The regular season schedule for the Oklahoma City Thunder gets started on October 19 with a home game against the New York Knicks. Not only will this be a good chance for OKC to show what the new “big three” can do on the court, but it is an opportunity for Carmelo Anthony to re-create his own story around the league. All eyes will be on him, too, as the game will be nationally televised.

[Featured Image by J Pat Carter/Getty Images]