Many people didn’t think that Carmelo Anthony could still be a successful NBA player. He proved them all wrong, though, during his time with the Portland Trail Blazers this past season. Anthony was ultimately a very effective role player for the Trail Blazers and played a significant role in them reaching the playoffs. Because of the way he played, there is a chance that several teams could be interested in signing him this offseason. One of the teams who might have the strongest probability of signing him is a team that he has previously paid for — the New York Knicks.
Carmelo Anthony had a successful career with the New York Knicks
After becoming one of the best players in the NBA for the Denver Nuggets, Anthony got traded to the New York Knicks during the 2010-11 season. Before acquiring Anthony, the Knicks had a recent history of losing, as they had missed the playoffs in six straight seasons prior to that.
However, in Anthony’s first season in New York in 2010-11, they ultimately finished 42-40 and made the playoffs. This was the first of three straight playoff appearances for the Knicks. They then even reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2012-13.
Anthony ultimately spent six-and-a-half seasons with the Knicks and was one of the best scorers in the NBA. He earned an All-Star selection in every season he played in New York, and he led the league in points per game in 2012-13, as he averaged 28.7 points per game.
Overall, during his time with the Knicks, Anthony averaged 24.7 points per game and seven rebounds. The Knicks then later traded Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017.
He had disappointing stints with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets
The Thunder were a very talented team in 2017-18 as they acquired Anthony and Paul George to team them up with Russell Westbrook. The three of them led the Thunder to a 48-34 record that season, and they earned the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference. Anthony played well too, as he averaged 16.2 points per game.
However, the Thunder were extremely disappointing in the playoffs. OKC ultimately lost to the Utah Jazz in the First Round in six games. Anthony struggled immensely during that series too, as he averaged 11.8 points per game and only shot 37.5% from the field, compared to his 40.4% average in the regular season.
After that season, the Thunder traded Anthony to the Atlanta Hawks, and the Hawks ultimately waived him. He then signed with the Houston Rockets but only played in 10 games in Houston in 2018-19. Anthony then went an entire year without playing before signing with the Portland Trail Blazers in 2019.
Carmelo Anthony had a nice season with the Trail Blazers
Anthony proved with the Trail Blazers during the 2019-20 season that he still has a lot left in the tank. He averaged 15.4 points per game and pulled down 6.3 rebounds. Anthony also shot 43% from the field, his highest percentage since his final season with the Knicks.
Additionally, the Trail Blazers needed to play well during the seeding games this year in order to make the playoffs. They did just that, and Anthony was a big reason they made the playoffs. He scored 20 or more points in four of the eight seeding games, including a 26-point, eight-rebound game in a win over the Dallas Mavericks. Anthony also scored 21 in the play-in game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Blazers then ultimately played the LA Lakers in the playoffs and lost in five games, but Anthony played well in the series. He scored 20 points in Game 3, 16 in Game 4, and 27 in Game 5.
Anthony ultimately proved himself with the Blazers, which could lead to some teams having an interest in him this offseason.
He could return to the New York Knicks
The New York Knicks are reportedly looking to make some big moves this offseason. Anthony could be involved in their offseason plan too.
According to the New York Post, if the Knicks trade for Chris Paul — which there appears to be some interest there — then Anthony would reportedly want to follow Paul to New York. They are close friends who played together in Houston, but that only lasted for 10 games.
Paul and Anthony were also both represented by Knicks president Leon Rose when he worked for Creative Artists Agency, which could help make the moves more achievable.
The partnership would certainly make the Knicks an interesting team in the Eastern Conference. Would that make them a playoff contender? It is hard to say that for sure, but an Anthony-Knicks reunion would certainly be fun to watch.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference