New York Knicks President Phil Jackson made it pretty clear Friday that ten-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony is on the trading block when he told reporters that Melo "would be better off somewhere else." Let the negotiations with teams that would like to acquire his services begin! Even though Melo and Jackson haven't seen eye-to-eye, it was pretty stunning to see him straight-up announce that his best player and future Hall of Fame forward is a goner.
So should Pat Riley and Miami make a run at Carmelo? Would it make sense for the Heat to take on the more than $26 million Anthony is owed next season, as well as the player option he has the year after? The short answer is yes.
Anthony is an intriguing option for a team that lacks a dynamic offensive threat. And Jackson has fired a Tomahawk missile at any leverage he might have in trade discussions, so it seems now would be a prime time for Riley to swoop in and get a gently used "whale" at a
Goodbye 'Melo: "We’ve not been able to win with him on the court at this time. He’s a player that would be better somewhere else."— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) April 14, 2017
The knocks on Anthony have always been his lack of commitment on the defensive end of the court, his physical conditioning, and his unwillingness to pass the ball on offense. For the Heat's part, the team's entire "culture" campaign basically stems from Miami priding itself on making sure anyone and everyone adheres to whatever makes the Heat franchise better off. The team comes first, and the player is just a piece of the machine.
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If the Heat can turn James Johnson from a 275-pound journeyman forward into a candidate for comeback player of the year, couldn't Miami get Anthony to buy in at the end of his career?
Riley prides himself on turning disgruntled stars into happy championship contenders. He did so with Alonzo Mourning. He did so with Shaquille O'Neal. One could even argue he did so with LeBron James. Anthony certainly fits the bill.
Melo, presumably, would be all about getting a chance to join a winning franchise like the Heat, where contending for championships is the only goal. Unlike a team such as the San Antonio Spurs, where Anthony would be just a part of the puzzle, Miami would give him the chance to continue to be the star.
The marriage could work. The Heat would have to do some minor salary-cap maneuvering, but the team does have Chris Bosh's money coming off the books this summer. Why not take a flier on a legit All-Star who might just be the piece to push this year's exciting squad to the next level?