What that does is open up the floodgates for possible destinations. One, in particular, will be the Philadelphia 76ers. Why? Simply because they need a power forward after reportedly trading Dario Saric to the Minnesota Timberwolves this weekend.
The Anthony pairing in Houston seemed like a good idea on paper. But once the season started and the team began to falter, you knew something big was coming. First, there was the suspension of Chris Paul, then the injury to James Harden. All the while, Carmelo played through but he was no real service to the team.
With the news that he and the Rockets may part ways, the logical destination will be the 76ers.
There’s no place for him on the Los Angeles Lakers with his good friend LeBron James. Melo, although not the scoring machine he was back with the New York Knicks, has qualms about being a bench player. But what he doesn’t realize is that teams no longer have a fit for a player who’s a defensive liability and has lost his shooting touch. Gone is the 23.0 points per game scorer and in his place is a player who refuses to believe that.
With that said, a move to the Philadelphia 76ers could be in the cards. With the Sixers short on big men, they could use Jimmy Butler at the 4 and put Melo in at small forward. While Joel Embiid handles the majority of the rebounding anyway, his addition will not hinder what the 76ers plan on doing with their lineup.
The good part about this is, Melo will not cost the team much if that’s the route general manager Elton Brand decides to go in.
The Rockets are paying Carmelo Anthony $2.4 million this year to average 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds. Considering what he’s capable of and his salary, this will be a bargain for the 76ers.
At this point, the 76ers may not have a choice but to kick the tires on this. Their second unit is basically no more as Wilson Chander or J.J. Redick will now join the starting unit to replace Saric. The Sixers currently have Amir Johnson as the primary backup for the big men with Mike Muscala reportedly out with a broken nose (the team announced).
Carmelo Anthony can provide the team with perimeter play, leadership, and hopefully, this will kick-start the team and help them get out of the funk they’ve been in. Besides, what team out there besides the Golden State Warriors will have the firepower to contend with that lineup?
It’s true that the team could get better on the defensive end as they rank 30th in the NBA. With the Toronto Raptors running away with the Eastern Conference to begin the new season, the 76ers are doing whatever they deem they must to not lose too much ground.
Anthony has never been labeled a cancer to any locker room for a while, given his playing style and his losing narrative. It just so happens, the last two teams that he chose to play for, he’s not been a great fit. Last year’s experiment with him, Russell Westbrook and Paul George on the Oklahoma City Thunder did not work in 2017-18.
His time with the Oklahoma City Thunder came down to players who didn’t figure out in time how to play with each other. This season on the Houston Rockets, it was never going to work, as the NBA allows only one ball on the court at a time. However, in Philly, this could be the pairing he and the team needs.
Adding Anthony would make up for what Saric brought offensively as a big, and we’ll see if he’s headed to the Philadelphia 76ers sooner than later.