Philadelphia 76ers: Maybe Carmelo Anthony could actually help

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After failing to land a star in free agency, could an albeit over-the-hill Carmelo Anthony actually help the Philadelphia 76ers?

After failing to land LeBron James or Paul George in free agency, one star player seemingly the entirety of the Philadelphia 76ers fan base would like to avoid adding to the roster going into the 2018-2019 NBA season is Carmelo Anthony.

But why?

Yes, the player previously known as Melo had a really bad 2017 – 2018 season, including an egregious 0-9 3-point shooting performance in the Thunder‘s Game 7 loss to the Utah Jazz, but that’s just as much the OKC coaching staff’s problem as it is the player’s.

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After spending the first 14 years of his NBA career as a bull in the china shop ISO-ball small forward scorer, it’s simply unrealistic to expect a 34-year-old player to suddenly excel as a spot up three point shooter on the wings.

That just doesn’t happen.

Sure, players like LeBron James can effectively play any position on the court and excel with the ball in or out of his hands, but he’s arguably the best player to ever play the game and by extension the exception to the rule. For most players, especially players over the age of 30, their skill sets are eventually going to start to diminish, but again, that doesn’t mean that they can’t still be a productive member of the team in a less expensive roll. By accepting these limitations, a player can actually perform even better than when they’re trying to do it all and play like they’re 25 when they’re 35.

If Carmelo Anthony is willing to accept these limitations, and by extension a diminished role, he could still be a major addition to a playoff-hungry team, especially one in the Eastern Conference.

No wonder the Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly interested in his services.

While some have reported that Anthony is unwilling to play a diminished role as a six-man coming off the bench, if the landscape of the NBA is of any indication, it appears that this is the role almost any of his potential suitors would want him to fill at this point in his career, outside of the potentially ill-fitting Houston Rockets, who have already lost their top two small forwards this month.

However, if Anthony does read the writing on the walls and accept that his starting days are behind him, he could provide Philly with a serious bun that they sorely missed last season: a true ISO-ball scorer.

While he may not be the Melo of yore, Anthony is still one of the most dangerous players in the league when he turns his back to the basket, and can power his way through all sorts of defenders in route to a quick two points in the paint. Sure, he’s effectively a one-way player at this point in his career, but that kind of instant offense could be a great addition to a team looking for some change of pace offense to slow the game down when their stars are off the court.

A team like the Philadelphia 76ers.

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Even though 2016-2017 was a down year for Anthony, his 16.2 points per game would have ranked third on the Sixers, above the likes of Ben Simmons, Robert Covington, and Marco Belinelli. While his 35.7 three-point percentage left a lot to be desired, the team didn’t exclusively field ace 3-point shooters, especially if they could help the team in other ways. Look no further than Amir Johnson. After only attempting 32 3-point shots in the entire 2017-2018 season Brett Brown still re-signed the 13-year vet to be his backup center because of his great work ethic, defensive prowess, and ability to provide veteran leadership to team’s young core.

While Anthony has hardly made a name for himself as a shepherd of men over his NBA career, his ability of score volume buckets could be a major advantage for a team, even if he’s the textbook definition of an average NBA three-point shooter. Furthermore, when paired with the Sixers plethora of dominant offenders like Covington, Johnson, Justin Anderson, Zhaire Smith, and potentially Jonah Bolden, Anthony’s defensive deficiencies could be thoroughly masked, just like Redicks are on the first team when paired with Simmons, Covington, Dario Saric, and Joel Embiid.

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Simply put, while he may be a bad fit when lined up alongside Ben Simmons, and surely wouldn’t beat out Saric or Covington for a spot if the team’s starting five, if paired with solid defenders and a supreme passer like T.J. McConnell on the team’s second unit, Carmelo Anthony could still add considerable value to the Philadelphia 76ers roster on a one year, no risk deal. Though this could all be for not, as recent reports indicate that the Rockets are all in on acquiring the 10-time All-Star, if the Mike D’Antoni connection prevents that from happening and Brett Brown believes that Anthony could help the team win in 2018, we should all Trust The Process.