With the dust having settled following Dwight Howard’s move to the Los Angeles Lakers, the 2019 NBA offseason has seemingly reentered its “dog days” – the long period that follows the flurry of signings and trades activity in July and precedes the start of training camp toward the end of September. That means there haven’t been any new reports linking the likes of Carmelo Anthony to potential suitors, as the former NBA scoring champion remains an unsigned free agent as of this writing. However, recent comments from one of the newest members of the Boston Celtics suggest that there are players who believe he could still contribute to an NBA team at this point in his career.
As quoted by Bleacher Report, Celtics center Enes Kanter appeared on Fox Sports 1’s First Things First on Wednesday, where he discussed a number of topics, including the fact that Anthony is still unsigned despite his impressive NBA resume. The 10-time NBA All-Star last played for the Houston Rockets in the 2018-19 season, averaging just 13.4 points in 10 games before getting shelved for the rest of the season and traded to the Chicago Bulls, who cut him before he could play a game for the team.
“So you’re telling me a guy like that cannot make a 15-man roster on 30 teams? It’s definitely crazy,” Kanter was quoted as saying. “I feel like yes, he belongs in the NBA and he still can get 15-20 points.”
Per Bleacher Report, Kanter added that he believes Anthony is now willing to accept a reserve role, which meshes with remarks the 35-year-old forward had made earlier this month. During an appearance on ESPN’s First Take, Anthony told host Stephen A. Smith that he is indeed amenable to coming off the bench if it means getting to continue his career in the NBA after 16 seasons in the league.
— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) August 28, 2019
On Thursday, Kanter reiterated his point as he took to Twitter to share a clip from his First Things First appearance, adding a hashtag that asked NBA teams to “free Melo.”
While Bleacher Report also noted that Enes Kanter joined Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard as an example of an NBA player who thinks Carmelo Anthony is still capable of posting solid numbers if signed ahead of the 2019-20 season, one former NBA contemporary recently countered that notion. Per ClutchPoints, Brian Scalabrine – the ex-Boston Celtics reserve now playing in the BIG3 – suggested to The Athletic that joining the three-on-three league could be a better path back to the NBA for Anthony, as compared to “hanging out with his trainer and playing in these bogus picks-up [sic] games.”