Ten-time All-Star and three-time Olympic gold medalist Carmelo Anthony, who ranks ninth among all-time players in career scoring (28,289 points), has yet to land a team in free agency, waiting for the right opportunity ahead of what would be his 20th NBA season. According to NBA insider Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Bally Sports, the Celtics have emerged as a suitor for Anthony, seeing him as a potential replacement for Danilo Gallinari, who tore his meniscus while representing Italy in World Cup qualifying. Gallinari’s injury isn’t thought to be season-ending, though it’s doubtful he’ll be ready when the Celtics begin their season against the Sixers October 18th at TD Garden.
After his seven-year tenure with the Knicks, it’s hard to envision Melo in a Celtics jersey, though considering his limited options, Boston wouldn’t be a bad landing spot at this late juncture in his admittedly declining career. Among other traits, the Syracuse alum is a proven scorer (he averaged 13.3 points in a sixth man role for the Lakers last season) and precisely the kind of veteran presence the Celtics need coming off the bench. Winning a title would undoubtedly bolster Anthony’s legacy and the Celtics, on the heels of their recent Finals appearance, may give the 38-year-old his best chance yet. Anthony’s experience could also make him a valuable mentor to rising star Jayson Tatum, a similarly gifted scorer with Hall-of-Fame aspirations.
Anthony, in his New York prime, was a polarizing player, prone to poor shot selection and an iso-heavy style not conducive to good ball movement. But for all the criticism he’s faced, including being labeled “selfish” (owing to his tendency to put up gaudy, inefficient stat lines, often with comically low assist totals), Anthony’s scoring prowess is without question, while his powerful 6’7,” 238-pound frame makes him an underrated rebounder. Very much in the journeyman phase of a dwindling career (Boston would be his sixth team in a seven-year span), Melo isn’t the player he was even a few short seasons ago, but as a depth piece capable of providing instant offense, the Celtics could do a lot worse.