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Could a Carmelo Anthony-like player help the Thunder?

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With Melo likely looking for a new team, the question presents itself as to whether his remaining qualities would actually appeal to a team like OKC.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Only a few short months ago, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Carmelo Anthony to the Atlanta Hawks where he agreed to a buyout in order to eventually sign with the Houston Rockets. After a rocky season in OKC, both the Thunder and Anthony were looking for a fresh start. However, it doesn’t appear the grass is much greener on the other side for Carmelo Anthony.

The Rockets are off to a 6-7 start, that has them currently ranked 12th in the Western Conference, after being only 48 minutes shy of an NBA Finals appearance last season. This fall-out is likely the outcome of multiple off-season moves by Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey, but the brunt of it seems to be placed on the presence of Carmelo Anthony and it looks like he might be on the lookout for a new team after only playing 10 games for the Rockets.

Even Paul George is weighing in on the Melo situation:

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Thunder fans were thankful towards Carmelo Anthony for his year of service and willingness to waive his no-trade clause to come join forces with Russell Westbrook and Paul George but were not able to stomach the idea of his $27.9M salary for the 18-19 season based on his output. In addition, Melo was ultimately unhappy with his role and ready to move on. That’s the old player.

But now that Melo appears to be quickly running out of options and will have to embrace a bench role and would be playing for the veteran’s minimum, what is his upside? No matter what side you fall on, according to Larry Coon’s NBA Salary Cap FAQ, this idea of an OK3 reunion is not possible:

A team cannot reacquire a player it traded away during the same season (a season for this purpose being defined as starting on the first day of the regular season and ending on the last day of the Finals). If the player was traded between seasons (i.e., from the first day after the Finals to the last day prior to the start of the next regular season), it cannot reacquire the player prior to the end of the next season. If he is waived by his new team, then he cannot re-sign with his original team until the one-year anniversary of the trade, or until the July 1 following the end of his contract, whichever comes first. However, if a team trades a player’s draft rights, it can reacquire the player during the same season.

Putting aside that reality, what do you think are the prospects of an aging veteran — let’s call him “Anthony Melo” — a 35 year old former all-star who shoots about 34% from three on about 7 attempts per game and can give you decent rebounding, good locker room presence, but is a weakness on defense? Is that kind of guy worth signing to a veteran’s minimum on a playoff team such as the Thunder?

With a return to the Thunder off the table, where do you think Carmelo Anthony lands next? Is there a role for him in the current NBA?

Update:

Per Woj, the Rockets experiment is over, but Anthony will remain with the team until he is eligible for a trade.

“After much internal discussion, the Rockets will be parting ways with Carmelo Anthony and we are working toward a resolution,” Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said in a statement.

Sources told ESPN the Rockets have no plans to immediately waive Anthony and will continue to allow his representatives to survey the marketplace for a landing spot, which has been an ongoing process in recent days.

Because he signed with the Rockets as a free agent this summer, Anthony is not eligible to be traded until after the Dec. 15 trade restriction. So any potential deal would be at least a month away.

Poll

Where will Melo land?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    He will stay in Houston
    (7 votes)
  • 38%
    He will be released and sign with a contender
    (154 votes)
  • 28%
    He will be released and sign with a lottery team
    (113 votes)
  • 30%
    He will retire
    (123 votes)
397 votes total Vote Now