Philadelphia 76ers: It’s time to trade for Carmelo Anthony

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Though he may not be the player he once was, Carmelo Anthony’s ability to score still could be a major asset to the Philadelphia 76ers’ forward-heavy roster.

Last year, NBA fans across the globe were treated to a Christmas Day showdown between the still-entrenched in ‘the Process’ Philadelphia 76ers and a New York Knicks squad feverishly attempting to cling on to relevancy with their mismatched collection of role players.

Though the game will probably be most fondly remembered as Joel Embiid‘s coming out party on national television, as he put up 25 on Enes Kanter and company, it also marked a very unique period in time where the Sixers were all potential, and potential alone.

Boy, how things have changed.

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Since then, the Knicks have dived into a full-on rebuilt thanks to an early 2018 injury to their lone star Kristaps Porzingis, and the 76ers have cashed in on virtually all of their ‘potential’ to form a Big 3 the likes of which the East hasn’t seen since Kyrie Irving wore number 2.

However, unlike that fateful Christmas day game back in 2017, this Sixers squad is top loaded as all heck.

According to Hoops Stats, the 76ers have the 22nd most effective bench in the entire NBA, with their reserves averaging 34.9 points a night and honestly, I’m surprised the number is that high.

Without a single player scoring in double-digits with any regularity, Brett Brown has been forced to rely heavily on his starting five to win or lose every game of the Jimmy Butler-era.

And if one of the team’s four starting five scorers, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick, and Butler, either misses a game or have an off night, the team has virtually no chance to pull out a win against an even average opponent.

Add in the non-factor that is Wilson Chandler on the offensive end of the court and the 76ers are a team in desperate need of some points.

Sure, Coach Brown previously stated that he would love for the front office to fill the team’s vacant 15th roster spot with a versatile backcourt defender like, say, David Nwaba, but at this point, the team’s bench scoring output can no longer be ignored: To win, Philly needs a dangerous bench scorer.

So, why not make a trade for their former Eastern Conference foe, Carmelo Anthony?

While he may be a bit of a meme at this point, a relic of a bygone era of beautiful basketball, Anthony is still among the best ISO ball scorers in the entire NBA, capable of putting up two on the vast majority of the league, even at the tender age of 34.

Sure, after averaging 20 or more points for 16 straight seasons, Anthony certainly isn’t the player he once was, but even now, his 13.4 ppg average as a Houston Rocket would have finished fifth on the Sixers squad.

Furthermore, while Anthony doesn’t per say have a whole lot of postseason experience, having only appeared in 72 playoff games as opposed to 1064 in the regular season, he is a recently humbled future Hall of Famer, and that could be an invaluable resource to a Sixers squad overflow+ing with were around their ears young players.

Now I know what you are thinking, even if Anthony can score, he’s among the least effective defenders in the entire league at this point, and was more harm than good to the Rockets.


However, unlike the Rockets, or even the Los Angeles Lakers, the Sixers have a roster almost tailor-made to highlight Anthony’s strengths and cover up his issues.

With defensive forwards like Butler, Simmons, Wilson Chandler, Jonah Bolden, and even Embiid capable of switching off on opposing bigs 3-5 play-after-play, it’s entirely conceivable that the Sixers could mask Anthony on the defensive end of the court with ease.

Much like how the team hides J.J. Redick in their starting five, a move that’s a lot harder to do because of the team’s lack of plus-defensive guards, Anthony could optimize his efforts on offense, giving his team double digits points off the bench with ease, and conserve energy on defense.

The Sixers are so in need of bench scoring that I doubt the team would even be upset if Anthony reverted to his old ways of shooting a bunch of mid-range jumpers as a second unit answer to Butler’s brand of ISO ball scoring.

And the best part? The Rockets are willing to all but give Anthony away.

After announcing that he would no longer be with the team moving forward, the Rockets have been attempting to find someone to take on Anthony’s veteran minimum salary in an attempt to take his cap number off the books. Though he could very well still be waived, if a team like the 76ers were to offer cash considerations or even something like a second round pick for a second round pick and Anthony, I’m sure Daryl Morey would drive Melo to the airport himself.

Now granted, there’s no way of knowing where Anthony’s head is at the moment, as he could be contemplating retirement, but in the past, he listed Philadelphia as one of his preferred destinations in the past and is a close friend of current-GM Elton Brand so rejoining the East with a playoff powerhouse may be in his best interests.

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Though he’s far from a perfect fit, as he’s neither a guard nor a two-way player, if the Philadelphia 76ers are serious about fortifying their bench with a serious scorer before a postseason berth, Carmelo Anthony could help to ring in the new year in style.