Carmelo Anthony is at an impasse with the Los Angeles Lakers and Melo is no longer looking to prove he can still score 20 points in a NBA game as he approaches 40 pretty soon. He washed out of the NBA after his failures with Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City, didn’t make much of a difference behind CJ and Dame in Portland and pretty much bombed with the Lakers last season. Carmelo had his moments as a Laker last season but neither him or Westbrook was able to step up alongside LeBron last season in Davis’s absence with injury. Supposedly the Warriors and Nets are interested in Melo’s services and Melo could take a minimum contract to help Golden State repeat but Brooklyn seems more like an ideal fit.
Kevin Durant’s name was thrown around with the Suns,Blazers, and even the Warriors weeks ago but sports analyst Skip Bayless ultimately predicts that Kevin Durant will remain a Net going into next season. Assuming Kyrie Irving is traded elsewhere a core 3 of Ben Simmons,Carmelo Anthony, and Kevin Durant would be interesting to see on the court. Assuming Ben Simmons gets his mental health fixed and can actually suit up next season giving Simmons two scorers the caliber of Durant and Melo would make the Nets a huge sleeper for the title next season. The Nets already have Steve Nash as their coach who will likely do a better job coaching Ben Simmons than he did Kyrie Irving whose ego is inflated to infinite level. As far as Carmelo Anthony goes he would be able to start on the Nets, a lineup of Simmons/Curry/Melo/Durant/Claxton would be able to hold their own against any of the Eastern Conference contenders be it Miami,Boston,Philadelphia, and Milwaukee.
We saw Kevin Durant practically carry the Nets last season while Kyrie was out due to personal reasons but with the return of Ben Simmons who is a floor general and the addition of a scorer like Melo Kevin Durant won’t have to carry such a heavy load like he did last season. At this stage in Carmelo’s career he wouldn’t be able to average 25 points per game for a whole season but I still believe he could be a reliable number 2 scoring option on a championship team so long everything around him and that first option fits and compliments their respective games. Much like Davis and LeBron 2020, they were the main two scoring options and Rob Pelinka put together arguably the best team LeBron has ever played on in his 20-year career. Melo is not at the level of a Anthony Davis but being that the Nets boast two players who impact the game at a high-level in Simmons and Durant Melo would just be tasked with scoring and being a floor spacer.
Carmelo Anthony had no choice but to be a jumpshooter on the Lakers strictly with LeBron and Westbrook on the roster but on the Nets Simmons will willingly defer to him and open up easier opportunities for Melo to score. From the moment Sean Marks elected to trade for Ben Simmons it was clear he was trying to change the identity of the team with Harden growing frustrated with his role alongside Kyrie and Durant and never establishing a role with the team. Roles will be delegated more fluidly with a trio of Simmons/Durant/Melo as opposed to what could be next season with Simmons/Kyrie/Durant. Casual NBA fans should watch some film on Ben Simmons instead of believing the narrative that Simmons is useless on the court, they leave out how much roles he covered in Philadelphia around Embiid for years.
Melo doesn’t have the stamina or explosiveness to turn back tbe clock to Knicks Melo which would make the Nets favorites for the championship next season but if Ben Simmons brings his elite defense and close to elite play-making next season it will be enough to off-set for Melo’s decline. They do still have Kevin Durant who for the next 2 years will at the very least be a top 10 player and we’ve all seen Kevin perform big for the Nets in the post-season almost taking out the Bucks single handedly. I wouldn’t get caught up in Melo’s short-tenures with OKC,Portland, and Los Angeles just because they were all bad fits but Brooklyn makes sense. He won a championship at Syracuse in his NCAA days college which isn’t Brooklyn but it’s still New York not to mention Melo was born and raised in Brooklyn, Melo signing with the Brooklyn Nets would be a storybook ending.