Appearing recently on “The Breakfast Club,” Carmelo Anthony‘s trainer Chris Brickley said that Anthony is still hoping to sign with an NBA team and is being realistic about what sort of role he could play, as Jack Maloney of CBS Sports relays.
“I think teams are afraid of, ‘I want to be the star,’ or ‘I want this.’ That’s not the case, though,” Brickley said. “‘Melo just wants to have a final season, farewell season, do what D-Wade did. Do the jersey swap. He had a great career, he’s a Hall-of-Famer. So hopefully that can happen.”
While Brickley’s comments were well-meaning, they could open up Anthony to unfair ridicule, according to Frank Isola of The Athletic, who says that Carmelo would be better served by speaking for himself. The 10-time All-Star should also be focusing on ways he can help a contending team rather than a farewell tour, Isola adds.
“Can he still play? That’s what teams want to know,” an NBA coach whose team had internal discussions about pursuing Anthony told Isola. “It can’t be about a farewell tour.”
The question of whether Anthony can add value to a playoff team is on the mind of various team executives, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. As Charania explains, those execs want to know if the 35-year-old would be willing to accept a role where he sits on some nights and thrives in other games, based on matchups.
“‘Melo could fill a spot on most second units, but what kind of role works for both sides?” one executive said to Charania.
Charania’s look at Anthony’s future includes several more interesting tidbits, so let’s round up up the highlights…
- If the Knicks had landed two star free agents this summer, they would have considered bringing back Anthony, league sources tell Charania. Now that the team has gone in a different direction, that no longer looks like a viable option. However, some executives believe that if Anthony doesn’t find another NBA home, he could sign a one-day contract to retire as a Knick.
- The Lakers are the only other team that currently looks like a potential suitor for Anthony, due to his friendship with LeBron James, but that’s viewed as an unlikely scenario, given the team’s depth at forward and on the wing. The presence of Kurt Rambis in the front office may be a factor as well — Charania notes that Rambis was with the Knicks during Anthony’s final “tumultuous” stretch in New York.
- Anthony’s camp had conversation with USA Basketball about Carmelo being part of Team USA’s World Cup squad in 2019. Both sides ultimately decided not to go in that direction though, says Charania.
- Last season, a team in the Chinese Basketball Association was prepared to offer Anthony a deal that would have paid him nearly $1MM for several weeks of work, a source tells Charania. However, those discussions never gained traction and multiple agents who do deals with clubs in China are skeptical that Anthony would go that route, Charania writes. If he were interested in playing in the CBA, Anthony would likely receive lucrative offers.