It’s been more than two months since Carmelo Anthony last saw action in an NBA game, but if the latest rumors are accurate, it might not be much longer before the former league scoring champion suits up for a new team after his abbreviated stint with the Houston Rockets.
Citing a report from the Athletic’s Sam Amick and Joe Vardon published earlier in the day, Bleacher Report wrote on Friday that Anthony has drawn interest from several teams and is expected to choose one team among these “multiple options” before the February 7 trade deadline. It wasn’t mentioned if these teams plan to add Anthony to their rosters via trade or through the waiver wire, assuming the Rockets formally release him.
As recalled by Bleacher Report, Carmelo Anthony has seen his share of challenges since the New York Knicks traded him to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2017 offseason. After posting career-lows in scoring while serving as a third offensive option to Russell Westbrook and Paul George on the Thunder, the 10-time All-Star joined the Houston Rockets the following offseason after he was traded to, and soon after waived by the Atlanta Hawks.
Despite the hype surrounding his signing, Anthony had an even less productive stint with the Rockets, as he tallied new career-lows with just 13.4 points per game on 40.5 percent field goal shooting while playing in a reserve role for the first time since joining the NBA in 2003. With Houston similarly struggling, the team issued a statement in mid-November that confirmed that Anthony will no longer suit up for the team due to his inability to fit in with the Rockets’ offensive and defensive schemes as expected.
Carmelo Anthony is ready to pick his next team and, yes, the Lakers still appear to be the likely landing spot.
— The Athletic (@TheAthleticLA) January 18, 2019
While Bleacher Report stressed that rumors regarding Carmelo Anthony’s potential post-Rockets destinations have been quiet as of late, the publication wrote that it was rumored in December that LeBron James was interested in having “Melo” team up with him and sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, though James acknowledged that it wouldn’t be up to him whether the Lakers decide to add him to the roster or not. As quoted by ClutchPoints, this was brought up again by the Athletic, as Amick observed that the Lakers are still “tied to Anthony more than any other team.”
“Not only is it unclear how they would clear the roster spot to add Anthony, or if there’s a possible trade to be made there with the Rockets, but a source close to James said Anthony’s conditioning and the overall state of his game are considered key factors here in terms of convincing the Lakers to add the player who had the worst season of his career with the Thunder and wasn’t any better with the Rockets.”
The Lakers, however, might not be Anthony’s only top option ahead of next month’s trade deadline. As further noted by Bleacher Report, the Miami Heat were also brought up as a possible landing spot in the summer of 2018 before he decided to sign with the Rockets. Additionally, some of Anthony’s contemporaries, including Basketball Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady, have suggested that his best option might be to retire while he’s still ahead instead of signing with another team, according to a previous report from TMZ Sports.