Although they aren’t struggling as much as their longtime rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers, are at this point in the NBA season, the Boston Celtics have also had their issues with failed expectations and a perceived lack of chemistry. As of this writing, the Celtics are 38-26 and No. 5 in the Eastern Conference and currently sit 10.5 games behind the conference-leading Milwaukee Bucks. And with the team fresh off a 115-104 loss to the Houston Rockets on Sunday, The Boston Globe opined that the Celtics’ bench might need some help from Carmelo Anthony, who remains unsigned after he was waived last month by the Chicago Bulls.
Writing for The Boston Globe on Monday, Gary Washburn opined that the Celtics need to use their open roster spot, despite how the buyout market hasn’t yielded too many exciting signings. After commending the Bucks for signing veteran big man Pau Gasol soon after he was bought out by the San Antonio Spurs, Washburn added that this move — adding a former All-NBA player with championship experience despite not having a pressing need for him — should push the Celtics to “take a chance” and sign someone like Anthony.
Justifying why he believes the Celtics should sign Carmelo Anthony, Washburn continued by saying that Boston needs more productivity off the bench. He mentioned how small forward Gordon Hayward has averaged just 6.3 points since the All-Star Break and is still playing tentatively after missing all but one game last season due to a serious ankle injury. Furthermore, Washburn suggested that Anthony could serve as a mentor to a mostly youthful Celtics roster, much like Gasol is expected to do for the Bucks, who have a 48-15 record but lack the experience most championship contenders possess.
“You think Gasol is really going to play big minutes for the Bucks? The fact is elite teams don’t waste roster spots. You load your roster with as much talent as possible and then allow the players to prove themselves, disregarding bruised egos.”
— Boston Globe Sports (@BGlobeSports) March 4, 2019
While Anthony has never won an NBA championship in his 16-year NBA career, the 34-year-old small forward has played in 10 All-Star Games and led the NBA in scoring in the 2012-13 season, per Basketball-Reference. Anthony last played for the Rockets, where he averaged a career-low 13.4 points on 40.5 percent field goal shooting in 10 games earlier this season.
As noted by ESPN, Anthony was traded to the Chicago Bulls in January in an attempt to clear salary cap space, then waived by the team earlier in February, thus making him a free agent.
Despite The Boston Globe’s assertion that the Celtics need to sign Carmelo Anthony, the Lakers are still seen by many as a favorite to acquire the veteran forward. Last week, Heavy’s Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson reported that Lakers superstar LeBron James is still “insisting” that the team use their 15th roster spot on Anthony, despite how the Lakers are pushing forward in a “different direction” in terms of their roster.