As you can recall, we had a Free Agency Fantasy piece on Carmelo Anthony and why it wouldn’t have been such a bad idea for the Brooklyn Nets to have a look at him (see here). Not too long after, the NBA was briefly rocked with stories that Melo was working out with players on the Brooklyn Nets roster. It was reported that this was an informal workout of sorts that Brooklyn Nets brass would be taking a look at to evaluate whether or not they’d like to acquire Melo’s services. These thoughts seem like assumed reporting as this seems like it wasn’t the case. It seemed a case more of friends working out with friends.
Be that as it may, neither side as publicly denounced the chances of a union out. So that means it remains an option, no matter how unlikely.
Cons of Signing Melo:
Since we did an article of potential benefits for signing Melo, it’s probably best if we listed the cons for this one.
-For starters, even without the addition of Melo, this is the most star-studded roster that Kenny Atkinson will have to coach. It’s one thing when he has a bunch of NBA outcast, role players, rookies, and or G-Leaguers just trying to stay in the league. They’re willing to accept more criticism even if just to put on the guise of being coachable. Kenny hasn’t by any means had an easy job these last few years, but he had to deal with fewer personalities. And with the added pressure and big names on the roster, his job hasn’t gotten any easier. Kenny’s name doesn’t hold the allure or respect of a Greg Pop or Doc Rivers to have players give him the benefit of the doubt. He doesn’t yet have the cache to have players almost never challenge him as of yet. He does have a lot of the core from last year that will probably back him if it ever comes to that though.
-We have 15 guaranteed contracts. We can sign Melo right now, but by season starts we’d have to either cut or trade someone. Cutting someone means we’d be paying someone to not play. We are only just entering the final year doing that with Deron Williams and I’m not sure the Brooklyn Nets Brass are in a rush to get back into that. Especially with how tight we are with the cap as is. Another problem is that the majority of the role players under contract are here for multiple years. So you run the risk of paying them for them not to provide their services for at least two years.
-Melo is a self-proclaimed rhythm shooter. He is used to having the rock in his hands and creating for himself. This causes him to be very streaky as a catch and shoot option. In Kenny’s offense, this is the main use of most players. This may cause him to allow defenders to close out by taking an extra unneeded dribble or having him become a cog in the offense with ball stopping tendencies.
-Melo has never been an All NBA defenders. That’s never been apart of his game that anyone has written home about. Being in the game for over a decade is not about to solve that. His defense has almost undoubtedly declined with his time away from the game. Some of this can be alleviated with him guarding power forwards, which would be easier matchups, but the fact still remains that the Brooklyn Nets were a middle of the pack team defensively last year. Melo is most likely not helping the team make the proper strides on that end.
With all this being said, if Melo were to get signed, Wilson Chandler would probably be the player that would be scapegoated. He’s one of four players not under contract for next year. The other three would be Caris Levert, Taurean Prince, and Joe Harris. Prince and Harris are some of the deadliest catch and shoot players in the league and Harris are one of the Nets original hires to help create what we have today. Levert is one of the Nets draft picks oozing with potential that he just started to really reach. On top of that, many things he’ll be Kyrie’s partner in crime while Durant is out. Not to mention Levert is also like a little brother to KD so I doubt Nets brass would do anything that would even remotely upset one of their newfound stars. Add on top of that, they are all much younger than Chandler. The only real logical option would be to cut Chandler’s cheap contract if we were serious about wanting to add Melo.