Despite being eliminated in the first round of the 2020 Playoffs, veteran small forward Carmelo Anthony remains interested in playing for the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2020-21 NBA season. It’s hardly a surprise that he still wants to stay in Portland. They were the team that picked him up and gave him the opportunity to prove to everyone in the league that he still has plenty of gas left in the tank.
However, if he doesn’t want to retire without winning a championship title, re-signing with the Trail Blazers may not be the best option for Anthony in the 2020 free agency period. If he wants a legitimate chance of winning his first championship ring in the 2020-21 NBA season, Preston Ellis of Bleacher Report believes that Melo should move on from Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers and join an “immediate contender” like the Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets, and the Miami Heat this fall.
“For an experienced champion like Anthony, falling short of the game’s ultimate prize must be particularly painful. After all, Anthony has tasted three Olympic gold medals and currently stands as the U.S. all-time leading scorer with 336 points. His success isn’t limited to international play. In his lone collegiate season at Syracuse, Anthony was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player for leading his Orangemen to a national championship. It’s isn’t too late for the free agent. Anthony can link up with buddy LeBron James and Olympic teammate Anthony Davis in Los Angeles. He can do the same with Olympic teammates Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in Brooklyn. Miami is an option as well.”
For a player as great as Anthony, it would definitely be painful to see him end his career without becoming an NBA champion. As much as he’d love to stay in Portland, they are clearly not a team that could help him achieve his main goal. The Trail Blazers may have the explosive backcourt duo of Lillard and CJ McCollum but as of now, they aren’t viewed on the same level as Western Conference powerhouse teams like the Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, or the Denver Nuggets.
Though they could still extend their playoff streak next year, the competition in the Western Conference is expected to get tougher with the approaching return of the mighty Golden State Warriors. Instead of spending another year in Portland, the best ring-chasing move for Melo would be to join forces with LeBron James and Anthony Davis in Los Angeles, team up with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in Brooklyn, or provide a veteran presence to this year’s runner-up, Jimmy Butler’s Heat, in Miami.
Of all those teams, the Lakers are undeniably the ideal landing spot for Anthony. From the time James signed with the Purple and Gold, Melo has been frequently linked to Los Angeles. Though they recently won the Larry O’Brien Trophy, the Lakers still have plenty of things that they need to address this fall. Signing Melo to a one-year contract would give the Lakers a veteran superstar who could ease the burden on LeBron’s shoulders in terms of scoring and playmaking.