(via Heavy.com)

Despite having yet signed with an NBA roster deep into August, Carmelo Anthony is holding out hope that he might make an NBA return this upcoming season.

One of the most talked-about teams in this regard is the Lakers, who have long had a connection with Melo since being released from Houston last November. The Lakers could use some additional wing depth and fire-power off the bench. Anthony checks both of these boxes, and even more — according to former NBA superstar Gilbert Arenas.

If L.A. signs Carmelo, he could become a fourth-quarter closer for the team.

(via Landon Buford)

“Go to the Lakers where you might come off the bench, but you are going to be the first option in the fourth quarter because that is what they are going to need from Melo. They need a 6’9 guy that can open up the floor, play your iso basketball, and that helps the rest of the Lakers. LeBron passes to everyone else, and you play iso basketball it all works. He goes to Houston and after ten games he is gone. Melo needs to be in a position where the last five minutes of the game he is the go-to guy.”

In theory, Arenas’ plan works. With LeBron and Anthony Davis, the Lakers certainly have a number of options on the offensive end. But when it comes to scoring and getting a quick bucket, that’s something Carmelo has made a specialty of his for the past 16 years.

The problem comes when he starts shooting in high volumes. Because his efficiency is so low, limiting his playing time to the most important game moments might be the way to go.

Then again, that strategy has a number of flaws.

Whatever the case, the Lakers remain the best and most realistic option for Carmelo. At 35-years-old, he will be looking for a reduced role on a Championship team. Last season, in Houston, he averaged a career-low 13.4 points on 40.5% shooting.

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