- Carmelo Anthony’s possible move to the Lakers appears to be on hold
- Melo’s 25,551 points ranks 19th all time in NBA history
- What’s the best bet to make here?
There’s little doubt that Carmelo Anthony wants to be back and playing in the NBA.
But after Monday’s news, it appears that even ‘Melo – he of the failed playing stints in OKC and Houston, with in-name ghost stops in Atlanta and currently Chicago – is having reservations about joining the Lakers.
The Lakers and free agent Carmelo Anthony are pausing talks on a possible contract agreement unless the franchise makes a turn back toward pursuit of playoffs contention. Story on ESPN: https://t.co/SHP0y2mGLe
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 4, 2019
Anthony to the Lakers seemed like a virtual a slam dunk just after the trade deadline, but the latest odds from BetOnline is seeing no reunion of these banana-boat buddies.
Odds the Lakers Sign Carmelo Anthony Before the 2019 Playoffs
|Will the Lakers Sign Carmelo Anthony Before 2019 Playoffs?||Odds at BetOnline|
*Odds taken 03/04/19
Lakers Have Hit the Skids Hard
Already working with the toughest remaining schedule among playoff seekers out West, the Lakers went into self-inflicted gunshot wound mode after the All-Star break.
"So now the Lakers aren't good enough for you?" pic.twitter.com/Xq67GPZzP6
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 4, 2019
After a stunning come-from-behind win over the Rockets, Los Angeles caught whippings in New Orleans (without Anthony Davis) and Memphis.
After a win at home against the Pelicans, the Lakers were neck-and-neck with the East-leading Bucks, before Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s horrendous nail-in-the-coffin assist to Milwaukee.
Il reste 1’50 de jeu. +3 pour les #Bucks. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope est à la remise en jeu.
— La Main Au Panier (@MainAuPanier) March 2, 2019
And then Saturday night’s absolute killer – a crushing loss to the Suns. Forget the passive-aggressive LeBron James to the media, LeBron was straight-up livid on court.
LeBron frustrated during the loss against the Suns. 👀 pic.twitter.com/wZfnUpRHQa
— House of Highlights (@HoHighlights) March 3, 2019
That leaves Los Angeles 4.5 games out of the eight seed, with 19 games to play, and burning three sub-.500 opponents that needed to be wins coming home. It doesn’t get easier, as 13 of their final opponents are playoff-positioned teams.
Anthony Would Help Offense, But His Defense is Still Poor
You have to have really been watching the Lakers over this last stretch to understand that the young players are coming along, but are still not all there. Both Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram’s stats are impressive, but they struggle to finish games off.
Can't remember another stretch where both Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma were producing this well on offense simultaneously. It has been super cool to see.
In their last 15 games:
Ingram: 21.8 | 5.3 | 3.3 (62 TS%)
Kuzma: 19.5 | 4.2 | 2.5 (58 TS%) pic.twitter.com/YIcyo7meLl
— Alex Regla (@AlexmRegla) February 28, 2019
Adding an aging Anthony, a castoff on so many other teams, would be adding a reliable scorer to a team that needs some help in the crunch. At 19th in the NBA in scoring all-time, the 34-year-old still knows how to put the ball in the bucket.
Carmelo Anthony posted 37 points, including the game-winner over the Sixers pic.twitter.com/4B7h894R70
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 26, 2017
Defense, however, is not ‘Melo’s forte, and that’s really where this squad is lacking. They’re 24th in points allowed (113.9), and while they’re top 11 in both opposition three point percentage and field goal percentage, they’re the fourth worst team in surrendering rebounds in the NBA.
What’s the Best Bet to Make?
I don’t blame Anthony for not wanting to jump into this mess. He’s already been the scapegoat for disappointments in OKC and in Houston.
While his skills have diminished to where he is best suited to a third or fourth option, there is still a coach that should be able to unlock what he does best: score. The guy is a career 24 ppg scorer.
My @Lakers are a shame of team. @KingJames cant do it alone. @B_Ingram13 and @kylekuzma are a good players but they arent superstars.
LeBron needs @AntDavis23 and @carmeloanthony ASAP#Lakers pic.twitter.com/bt7Z6ctBJf
— BlackJAV™ (@TheBlackJAV) March 4, 2019
And while I believe he would be a great help – and perhaps the only veteran that Magic Johnson brings in all year that would make sense – Anthony’s reps are doing the right thing and waiting for a more stable opportunity.
And though I once believed LA and LeBron would turn it around, it ain’t happening, so taking the “no” here is the winning bet.