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Ranking The Best Versions Of Carmelo Anthony: Nuggets Melo Was On Another Level

Ranking The Best Versions Of Carmelo Anthony: Nuggets Melo Was On Another Level

Carmelo Anthony is one of his generation’s greatest scorers, and arguably the most versatile scorer in his position. Anthony could take defenders inside and outside in his prime, and in the latter stages of his career, he has become an excellent spot-up shooter. Not to mention, the future Hall of Famer has played for 5 different franchises over his career: the Nuggets, Knicks, Thunder, Rockets, and Trail Blazers.

In the 2021-2022 season, Anthony will suit up for the Los Angeles Lakers and will most likely end his career with them. But looking back at Anthony’s career so far, where did he play best? Anthony went through different challenges at each stage of his career, and his game has been tweaked over the years. But it is time to rank the best version of Carmelo Anthony based on his impact with the 5 different franchises he played for.


5. Houston Rockets

2018-2019: 13.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 0.5 APG, 0.4 SPG, 0.7 BPG

(via New York Post)

(via New York Post)

Carmelo’s stint with the Houston Rockets was an utter disaster. He only appeared in 10 games with the team, starting twice and averaging the lowest PPG average of his entire career. The Rockets needed two-way forwards who would spot-up when James Harden drove to the basket, something Anthony was not capable of doing at that stage of his career.

Carmelo was only 2 years removed from averaging 22.4 PPG and making the All-Star Team with New York, so he felt he was more than a spot-up shooter. As a result, Houston cut him after only 10 games which kickstarted a period of depression and doubt on Anthony’s end. Luckily, that experience gave the former scoring champion a new mindset for a new start in his NBA career with the Trail Blazers.


4. Oklahoma City Thunder

2017-2018: 16.2 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.6 BPG

Carmelo Anthony

After making his final All-Star Team and completing his 7th season with the Knicks, the writing was on the wall. Carmelo was not going to win in New York and the franchise was a mess because they could not convince any top free agents to join them. As expected, Anthony requested a trade and was moved to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Playing with Russell Westbrook and Paul George, Anthony believed he formed a Big Three in Oklahoma City. But Anthony was only a year removed from being an All-Star and was incapable of being effective as a 3rd option. The Thunder had no postseason success with their Big Three, and even when Anthony’s numbers were solid, this stint was very forgettable because the 10-time All-Star simply didn’t fit.


3. Portland Trail Blazers

2019-2021: 14.3 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.5 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Carmelo Anthony Agrees To Deal To Portland Trail Blazers

Even if Carmelo Anthony averaged more PPG with the Thunder in 2018, he was happier and much more effective with the Portland Trail Blazers. Portland pick Anthony up after his disastrous spell with Houston, and the 10-time All-Star appeared in 58 games for the team. Averaging 14.3 PPG and showing a willingness to accept a lesser role, Anthony started every game for the Trail Blazers in 2020.

Last season, Anthony was solid again averaging 13.4 PPG despite starting only 3 games. Carmelo, at 36 years old, understood his limitations and is now a veteran player that championship contenders need on their rosters. Anthony found the love of the game with the Portland Trail Blazers and he has a great chance to win a title with the Lakers.


2. New York Knicks

24.7 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 3.2 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony with the New York Knicks was a superstar. The forward made the All-Star Team every year with the Knicks and averaged a solid 24.7 PPG over 7 seasons. With Anthony on board, the Knicks made it to the second round of the playoffs in 2013 for the first time since the 2000 season. Even if the Knicks did not win anything, Carmelo was an unstoppable offensive force.

Anthony had his spell of injuries which saw him appear in at least 70 games only 3 times, but he was dominant when healthy on the floor. As a clutch player, Anthony was right up there with Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, and Dirk Nowitzki. The native New Yorker could score from anywhere and be particularly effective in the post and brought the excitement into Madison Square Garden again. Anthony also won his first and only scoring title in 2013, where he averaged 28.7 PPG.


1. Denver Nuggets

24.8 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 3.1 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Carmelo Anthony

As great as Carmelo Anthony was on the Knicks, he was even better with the Denver Nuggets. Drafted No.3 overall, Anthony joined a legendary draft class that featured the likes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. Anthony was a spectacular scorer immediately in the NBA, averaging 21.0 PPG and making the All-Rookie Team. It only took 2 years later before Anthony averaged 26.9 PPG and another year where he made his first All-Star Team.

There was even a conversation of Carmelo Anthony being a top-5 player in the league when he was in Denver because he was the full package. He had incredible athleticism, a powerful body in the post, and could shoot over any defender. Carmelo looked leaner and more explosive in his early years, and he was the best player for the Nuggets team that reached the Western Conference Finals in 2009. Anthony had his best years with the Nuggets, on an individual and team level, and his spell in Denver will be his greatest memory.

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