On Wednesday, the Oklahoma City Thunder agreed to trade 10-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony to the Atlanta Hawks for Dennis Schroder, Mike Muscala and a protected first round draft pick in 2022, but Anthony will be waived by the hawks and become a free agent.
Dumping Anthony’s salary will save the Thunder $73 million this season and in all likeliness, it probably improves the roster by adding Schroeder. It’s really a sad indictment into the perception of Anthony at this stage of his career. He’s often the butt of jokes when it comes to winning anything significant in the NBA.
Anthony, who is expected to sign with the Houston Rockets to join Chris Paul and James Harden, will be entering his 16th year in the NBA. During that time, Anthony has won a scoring title in 2013, a 3-time gold medalist, a career average of 24 points per game and made over $232 million in salary.
Melo’s time with the Thunder summed up in one clip pic.twitter.com/8bFZKdYZLe
— Bruh Report (@BruhReport) July 19, 2018
However, he has no championship rings, he has never been to the NBA Finals and his playoff record is a whopping 25-48. In the 11 seasons that he led his team to the playoffs, only two times did Anthony make it out of the first round: 2009 when the Nuggets made the conference finals before losing to the Lakers and in 2013, when Anthony’s Knicks team was eliminated in the second round by the Indiana Pacers.
It’s not quite what many experts predicted for the star who led Syracuse to the 2003 national championship as a freshman. As of now, he will be viewed in a similar fashion to Tracy McGrady, made some All-Star games, won some scoring titles but never won anything significant. If Detroit had drafted Anthony No. 2 in the 2003 NBA Draft, he would have won a championship in his rookie season. Instead, here we are in 2018, no MVPs, no championships.
To even compete in the NBA, you have to have a “big three” or “super team” that has become quite common. When Oklahoma City acquired Paul George and Anthony to go along with Russell Westbrook, they had their version of the “big three.” But what did they produce? A first round exit to the Utah Jazz and a season where Anthony didn’t even average 20 points per game.
Surely, if he joins the Rockets, a team who was one game away from the NBA Finals last season, he will advance further than the first round. But it’s doubtful that team is defeating the Golden State Warriors. Let’s face it, Anthony’s legacy will not mean anything short of winning a championship. Yes, he has made a lot of money but now, he’s a 34-year old jump shooter who doesn’t play much defense, which sounds like most of the guys at your local YMCA pickup game.
Anthony isn’t the missing piece for a championship contender. You can make a good argument that he actually kills chemistry and the flow of the offense. Even if he joins Paul and Harden, beating the Warriors isn’t likely and after this season, LeBron James’ Lakers squad is likely to add some more stars. As a result, Anthony will be that much older and still with no rings.
Even Melo would admit that’s a disappointment.