The NBA rumors are pointing to a possible landing spot for Carmelo Anthony, but there could be one big obstacle still in the way: his conditioning.
The rumors about Anthony’s potential next destination have been swirling for months since the Houston Rockets announced that they would no longer have a place for him on the team. But as The Athletic reports, at least one team looking at Anthony has raised concerns about his conditioning and readiness to play in an NBA game.
As Sam Amick reported, the Los Angeles Lakers are the team showing the most interest in Anthony, but his level of conditioning could end up being a sticking point.
“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.”
While the Houston Rockets didn’t say specifically why they were parting ways with Anthony, there were reports that his conditioning was a concern. As SB Nation noted, Anthony had seen a rather sharp drop in productivity, scoring a career-worst 13.4 points per game while also scoring his lowest per 100 possession rate, hinting at a decline that was more than just the lighter bench role he had taken.
With Anthony losing his scoring touch, there was little upside to his game as the All Star forward was never considered to be terribly effective on the defensive end.
“Simply put, modern basketball hasn’t allowed Melo to age gracefully,” SB Nation noted.
It wasn’t clear how much of a concern the conditioning could be for the Lakers, or exactly what role Carmelo would assume alongside his longtime friend, LeBron James. It is likely he would still come off the bench as he did for Houston.
While the NBA rumors give some hope that Carmelo Anthony could find a new team, there could still be complications including whether the Rockets would agree to waive him or would insist on trading him. If the latter were the case, it would make it considerably more difficult to find a new home for the erstwhile Rocket, Silver Screen and Roll noted.