Well, it’s the off-season. The Finals are a thing of the increasingly distant past, the NBA Draft is right on its heels, and every major player has pretty much left the free agency boards. Things are more or less set in stone with just a few loose ends needing to tied. So with this series, I’m going to throw out some names that remain out there in the Free Agency Pool. I don’t honestly believe that Sean Marks and the Brooklyn Nets brass are looking at these players, but these are players I wouldn’t mind the organization taking a chance on.
Unless you’ve lived under a rock or tried not to pay attention, you’ve seen how the game has treated future NBA Hall of Fame player Carmelo Anthony. It hasn’t been kind to him, it hasn’t been grateful, and it hasn’t been pretty. He’s been dashed aside like a commoner. And although everyone should get some love and recognition on their way out rather than disappear into the background like a Thanos snap victim, though who’ve given the game more probably deserve it more so. For over a decade he’s treated us to highlights and good play, whether you like him or not. Whether he was winning or not, whether he played as well as you wanted or not. Melo deserves to go out better. Now, this isn’t to say he isn’t somewhat a victim of his circumstance, but there’s a roster spot on every team that Melo could probably be utilized.
Now Carmelo is a New Yorker. But more importantly, he’s a Brooklyn baby. Birthed in Red Hook, the Brooklyn Nets have a chance to rectify the mistreatment of Melo by New York that was placed on him by the New York Knickerbockers. Now I’m all for helping and supporting a fellow Brooklynite out, but it can’t be at the expense of my hometown Nets. Melo must come in with the proper mindset for this to be a win-win.
Melo will need to join the team with the mindset that it’s not his team let alone his city anymore. He will need to give Kenny Atkinson the upmost respect and not question his authority without VALID and UNQUESTIONABLE reasoning. Melo will have to buy into the “Do whatever it takes,” attitude that veterans have when trying to win a chip. He’ll need to make that extra pass and dive for that loose ball and give at least some kind of effort on defense. The Nets won’t need him to try and score 30 a night so he must be prepared to have some nights where he won’t score or won’t score much. And on these nights, Chauncey’s words can not echo as he throws a passive-aggressive fit. His mental make up will need an overhaul if he were to return to his true home. That being said…
Although aging, Melo is still one of the best scorers the game has seen. In his twilight years, he offers a player with experience who can achieve the main focus of the game. Putting that ball in the hoop. Mid-range specifically, Melo can score from all three levels and can rebound at a stable rate. He gives the Nets depth at the small and power forward positions, the four being a prominent position of need. Melo is a veteran who can help mentor the younger players, especially with on the court play. He’d have the chance to be in the Rasheed Wallace, Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin role that they had with the 2012-2013 Knicks that saw the most success of any Knicks team this decade. He can do similar things mentally but being able to contribute physically better. Lastly, Melo gives the team a shot creator and post scorer to implement into his system.
So depending on if the Nets were to sign him for one or two years, the Brooklyn Nets get another talented piece. The team becomes more experienced and get someone to hold down the three or four spot until Kevin Durant’s return. And when he does come back, Melo is depth and an insurance policy. Melo also isn’t one to get pushed around, so he becomes somewhat of an enforcer for this group of guys.
Melo gets a second chance in New York, the city he loves. He gets to leave both New York and or the NBA the right way. It’s been reported that Melo would like a farewell tour and that there have even been little push to try and get one.
If he chooses not to retire, he’ll have the chance to rewrite his reputation. He can also compete for that ever alluding championship and bring it to help bring it to New York, so that’s a resume builder and saver. And last, but not least, he gets a chance to stick it to the Knicks and help supplant the Nets as the team of New York. Everyone wins, if he comes with the right mindset… and cheap of course.