NBA - US Sports: What next for Carmelo Anthony?
Carmelo Anthony is on the hunt for a new team after leaving the Los Angeles Lakers at the end of last season and there are several possible destinations.
The forward is among the greatest players of his generation, is a 10-time All-Star and was the NBA scoring champion back in 2013, although now he is unlikely to be a regular starter for any team he does join.
Anthony is almost certainly a future Hall of Famer and is preparing for a 20th season in the NBA, but he needs to find a team first.
However, the 38-year-old veteran showed he can still make an impact last term with the Lakers and it seems to be a case of when, rather than if, he will agree a deal for next year.
Carmelo Anthony still an offensive weapon
Anthony began his career with the Denver after being selected by the Nuggets with the third overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, with LeBron James being the first overall pick that year.
The New York native went into the NBA after helping Syracuse win the NCAA championship and won his first four All-Star selections with Denver, but he is best known for his six-and-a-half year spell with hometown team the Knicks.
The forward tried to leave Denver during the 2010 offseason but was unable to secure a trade and began the season with the Nuggets. Despite his desire to leave, he continued to impress and posted a career-high 22 rebounds in a game against Phoenix Suns.
Anthony left the Nuggets for the Knicks in February of 2011 and quickly established himself as their star man.
He helped them reach the playoffs in each of his first three seasons with the team, but they only progressed beyond the first round once, losing out to the Indiana Pacers in the conference semifinals in 2013.
Anthony was unable to take the Knicks into the postseason in his final four years with the team, but he continued to put in huge performances and was an All-Star in all of those years.
After leaving New York following a fall-out with then team president Phil Jackson, Anthony spent one season with Oklahoma City Thunder and then joined Houston Rockets.
The forward was essentially frozen out at Houston and then joined Portland Trail Blazers.
Transition from regular starter to impact player
In his first season with Portland in 2019-20, Anthony played 58 games in the regular season and started all of them, while he also started all five of their playoff games as they were eliminated in the first round by the Lakers.
However, the following season the veteran accepted a reserve role and only managed three starts in the regular season.
Sometimes a player of Anthony's calibre can struggle to adapt after seeing their role in a team diminish, but he did so well and was an important player in Portland's rotation.
During his time with the Blazers, Anthony averaged 14.3 points per game while shooting nearly 40% from the three-point line.
Those stats, and his relationship with LeBron, convinced the Lakers to hand him a deal for last season and again he posted solid stats averaging 13.3 points per game with a 37 percent mark from three in 26 minutes - again starting just three games for the Lakers.
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Who could sign Carmelo Anthony?
Anthony is on the hunt for a new team and has been posting workout videos on his social media.
Deals have been slow to happen this summer due to the uncertainty surrounding the likes of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and, to a lesser extent, Donovan Mitchell, as teams are reluctant to offer contracts while there is a slim chance they could yet sign a superstar.
Anthony will probably have a few options when teams do start to make their moves and finalise their rosters, but returns to Portland and the Lakers look unlikely.
A return to the Knicks would, of course, be a fairytale scenario, but again that doesn't look to be on the agenda.
The 10-time All-Star could potentially make an impact for almost any team in the league from the bench and that makes him an attractive proposition even at the age of 38.
When contracts do start to be handed out to some of the high-profile free agents available, Anthony will probably go for the team he feels has the best chance of making the playoffs next season.