2014 NBA Free Agency: Analyzing Carmelo Anthony’s Top 5 Potential Suitors
The summer of Melo is almost here. The 2013-14 NBA Playoffs are still front and center, of course, but New York Knicks star forward will soon be the talk of the NBA offseason, as he decides where he’d like to spend the foreseeable future.
Phil Jackson’s presence at the Madison Square Garden could really sway Melo either way at this point, while the Knicks do have the advantage of being able to offer Anthony a max deal worth $129 million over five years. The money could very well do the decision-making when it’s all said and done, but Melo has also made it known that he wants to play for a winner.
After seeing LeBron James put on a show in free agency four years ago and now claim two NBA titles with the Miami Heat, Anthony will undoubtedly want to do the same.
While it’s hard to buy Melo passing up the big bucks to go somewhere else to try to win – especially when there are no guarantees it will work out – it’s at least worth taking a look at. With the playoffs about to get in full swing and NBA free agency coming soon after, let’s prep with a look at Carmelo Anthony’s top five suitors on the open market:
If Melo is looking for a place to go where a team is built to win right now, Chicago probably has to be near the top of his list. A healthy Derrick Rose would man the point and initiate most of the offense, while Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson would help lockdown the paint.
Melo would have the freedom to slide into his more suitable small forward role on a full-time basis, and would also be at worst Chicago’s #2 scorer. Built on defense and team basketball, the pieces are already in place for Chicago to turn into a top contender. Carmelo Anthony could be the missing link.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers have open roster space and money to spend, so for the next two years they’re potential destinations for just about any big name star. Anthony will require a new coach and may not exactly love the idea of playing second fiddle to Kobe Bryant, but the two could potentially form a very lethal 1-2 punch, should the Black Mamba work his way back into top form.
L.A. would still be miles away from being a contender, but with Melo in place, could quickly convince other solid talent to relocate to be part of the Lake Show.
Los Angeles Clippers
Matt Barnes is the starting small forward for Lob City right now. While he’s played extremely well and is a very good role player, Melo would obviously be a mammoth upgrade. Anthony coming to town would also give the Clippers a true go-to perimeter scorer, something they really don’t have.
With Melo on board, they’d boast quite possibly the best star grouping in the league with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan already making them a formidable opponent.
The Rockets already seem to be pretty stacked after adding big man Dwight Howard last summer, while James Harden is a star in his own right. Melo could come in and give them a third elite scoring presence, while Houston would also boast some of the best depth in the league. Houston has been hot on the trail of a stretch four that can shoot the three and Melo would easily fit that role, and then some.
Perhaps a wild card at this point, Dallas is no stranger when it comes to both spending cash in free agency and wanting to land a premiere free agent. They have recently swung and missed on the likes of Deron Williams and Dwight Howard, but perhaps Melo will break the negative streak.
Dirk Nowitzki is aging, but he’s still got some juice left in his legs and Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon bring solid guard support. If the Mavs could indeed land Melo, they could realistically be one defensive-stopper away from contending again.
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