Carmelo Anthony remains an unsigned free agent for reasons other than his ability to help a team

By Nicole Ganglani | Photo from NBA.com

Carmelo Anthony’s NBA career is coming to a close but not a single team wants to offer the 34-year-old a spot in their roster. The future basketball Hall of Famer and mid range assassin can’t seem to find another team that would let him play out whatever’s left in him.

It seemed like just a few years ago when the 10-time all-star was one of the league’s biggest stars. Melo would put more than 20 points per game while averaging more than a 43 field goal percentage. A lot of people have forgotten that he was the third pick on one of the greatest drafts ever and almost outperformed LeBron James for the Rookie of the Year award in 2004. Besides making it to the all-star team for 10 consecutive years, Anthony was no doubt a threat to every team that he went up against.

A Melodramatic Career

Anthony played seven and a half seasons for the Denver Nuggets, leading them to the Western Conference finals throughout his tenure. But since he never brought them to the NBA finals at least once, the Nuggets decided that it was time to part ways with him. Anthony was then traded to the New York Knicks where he also flourished and led the team to constant playoff appearances.

Unfortunately, in 2015 the Knicks ended up being involved in issues related to managerial malpractice; meanwhile, Melo suffered a series of untimely knee injuries. In the year that was already dominated by superteams like the Lebron-Dwyane Wade-Chris Bosh Miami Heat era, the Knicks knew they were not going to win the East with just Melo on board, and so they traded Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder (OKC) in exchange for Enes Kanter and Doug Mcdermott.

Anthony then played one season with the Thunder and started in all 78 games that he played. But this was also the same year where his stats hit an all time low. In the 2017-2018 season, Anthony had to adjust to the rotation of OKC and took more catch-and-shoot jumpers than pull-ups which was something he never did in the previous years. Once again, he was traded but this time to the Houston Rockets where he played just 10 games.

Melo played on a veteran minimum contract and came off the bench in eight out of the 10 games he played for the Rockets. On top of that, he took twice as many three-point shots as mid range jumpers—a far cry from his biggest strength as an athlete. He was then traded to the Bulls but only to get waived, which then led to unemployment.

One Last Shot

In a span of three years, Carmelo Anthony found himself playing for three different teams. He went from averaging 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game to becoming a salary cap filler for a trade, benchwarmer, and now a free agent.  From a maximum superstar contract with the Nuggets to only receiving 2.4 million via veteran minimum contract—this is arguably the saddest way any basketball Hall of Famer would want to end their career.

It strikes me that I’m not on a roster due to my talent, due to my skill. You’re telling me there’s 30 teams in the NBA, and I can’t make a 15-man roster…1,000 percent [I can accept a lesser role]. I can do that,” said Anthony in an interview with ESPN First Take

Anthony is currently a free agent for reasons other than his ability to help a team. In the past two years, the same question has been going around: Is he’s worth spending on for the sake of a farewell tour?

The answer is yes.

Carmelo Anthony deserves another shot to suit up and play one final year. In the past 17 seasons he’s played, Anthony has accomplished everything besides a championship. (The thing about playing in the NBA is that in order to cement your legacy, you’ve got to at least win a championship). All Melo wants is to be part of the 450 men on an NBA roster to compete for a championship one last time.

“[My] ultimate goal is to play and to win a championship. That’s all that’s left for me, to win a championship. But I also want to play,” said Melo.

In this rut that Melo can’t seem to get out off, it’s clear that he’s not sitting idly hoping to get signed by a team. Instead, he’s out there training and proving that he still has what it takes to play in the NBA. This just goes to show why he’s earned the honor of being touted as one of the best players in the game.

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