Based on the latest report from Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN, it doesn’t look like the Los Angeles Clippers will be one of the teams rolling out the red carpet for Carmelo Anthony this summer.
Carmelo Anthony has yet to publicly reveal the process by which he plans to entertain other teams in free agency now that he has opted out of his contract with the New York Knicks, but the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers are among the teams that expect to have the opportunity to make their pitch to him starting July 1, according to sources close to the situation.
Teams can’t formally contact free agents until 12:01 a.m. ET July 1, but sources told ESPN.com that the Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat are two more teams that could join the race for Anthony, depending on how things play out before, during and after Thursday’s NBA draft.
This comes to little surprise.
Despite hinting toward a pay cut, Carmelo Anthony is still set to command a ton of money on the open market and the Clippers have no room for him without unloading a big contract, that contract being either Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan.
Of course, this reasoning will draw the question of “why is LeBron James an option and not Carmelo”?
For starters, Anthony has yet to show any interest toward the Clippers while reports have drawn a connection between the team and LeBron. Whether they’re true or false is a different story. The second biggest factor is LeBron James being a better fit for the Clippers than Anthony. The Clips don’t need instant offense. They finished with the best offensive rating in the league last season and Blake Griffin’s leap covers that premise well. James adds an elite perimeter defender along with someone that adds to the versatility of the roster. When Paul’s sitting, James can run the offense. When Griffin is sitting, James can shift into his primary scoring option role. When both Paul and Griffin are on the floor, James becomes the quintessential small forward.
It basically comes down to semantics and James provides a much better fit than his 2003 draft classmate.
With a slither of reality that could’ve led Anthony to becoming a Clipper, we polled readers a week ago to see their stance on a hypothetical Blake Griffin-for-Carmelo Anthony trade. Of the 734 votes, 646 voters (or 88%) were opposed to the trade while 88 votes (12 percent) were in favor of the move.
This doesn’t completely rule out Anthony. We’ve seen crazier things happen, but we know coming out of the gate, Anthony won’t be on the Clippers radar, saving fans the possible heartache.