Carmelo Anthony has enjoyed a weird end to his long and very successful career. After spending some time not being able to find a team, Melo ended up on the Portland Trail Blazers before signing with the Los Angeles Lakers ahead of the 2021-22 season. The Lakers had a torrid season, in large part thanks to their aging roster, something that Anthony spoke about all of them taking responsibility for.
Despite his age though, Melo averaged over 13 points a game, shooting a respectable 37.5% from three-point range. As such, unless he chooses to retire ahead of next season, he will likely be able to find a team that gives him another contract. Melo will be a free agent after his one-year deal with the Lakers expires and there is some speculation about where exactly he will end up next season.
According to NBA insider Sean Deveney, there are 4 franchises in the mix, which includes two dark horses from the Eastern Conference. A return to the Lakers is reportedly the 'starting point' for any discussion about Melo's future.
“There is a comfort level with living in L.A. and playing there,” one NBA source said. “The starting point on him coming back and not retiring is signing on with the Lakers and hoping that they fix the roster and the coaching situation. But it’s wide-open.”
Carmelo has great ties with New York though, and while a return to the Knicks seems unlikely, the Brooklyn Nets have been mentioned as a very real opportunity for Anthony.
“If he wants to go back to the area, the Nets stuff will pop up again,” the GM said. “He’d probably rather be there than back with the Knicks. He won a gold medal with Kevin Durant and Kyrie (Irving) and they wanted to sign him (in 2019) but the front office wanted more defense. Now, he’s kind of shown he can play a role as a 3-point shooter and they need to add more shooting because they’re worried about Joe Harris to start the season. If he leaves the Lakers, there will be interest on both sides with him and the Nets. He could win there.”
Lastly, two dark horse contenders are being spoken about in the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics, two teams that were at the top of the Eastern Conference this season.
"Miami is one place I could see both sides saying it makes sense,” a Western Conference executive said. “But only if Miami makes a trade."
“If they make a run here and get to the conference finals or the Finals, he’s a solid option as a veteran shooter who can fill a small role,” the West executive said. “If you’re (Jayson) Tatum or (Jaylen) Brown, they’d welcome a veteran like that."
It's very hard to tell where Carmelo will end up next season, his wealth of experience and shooting ability on a small contract would make him a great option for teams looking to take the next step. Anthony might be nearing the end of his career, but he might just have another stop in him where he can finally grab that elusive NBA championship.