After splitting the first 14 years of his career between two teams, he has bounced around for the past five.
Anthony made stops in Oklahoma City, Houston, Portland, and Los Angeles, appearing in 284 games with 144 starts.
Melo is no longer the elite scorer he was while with the Nuggets and Knicks.
Players with 20+ PPG before turning 20:
— Carmelo Anthony
— LeBron James
— Kevin Durant
— Luka Doncic
— Zion Williamson pic.twitter.com/8zjQ4fjiyz
— StatMuse (@statmuse) September 1, 2022
Across 976 games with those two franchises, he averaged 24.8 points per game.
In the 284 games since, that number has dipped to 14.6 points per game.
But he is still a player who can provide value off the bench.
Anthony had 11 games last season when he dropped 20+ points, all of which he came off the bench.
He has become more of a floor spacer in his later years, and an effective one at that.
Since leaving New York, Anthony averages 5.2 threes per game, making them at a 37.6% clip.
He was never a player who cared much for defense, and still doesn’t but has decent size and can be stashed on weaker post players.
With recent reports saying the Boston Celtics are potentially interested in his services, the question must be raised.
Can Carmelo still contribute to a contender?
Anthony Provides Spark Off The Bench
The past two seasons have seen Anthony fully transition to a bench role.
After starting all 58 games he appeared in with Portland in 2019-20, he has played in 69 games with three starts each of the past two seasons.
Carmelo produced well during that time.
He has averaged 13.4 points and 3.6 rebounds across 25.2 minutes per game.
Carmelo Anthony averaged 13.3 PPG on 37.5% 3P last season i feel like if he was a non-famous role player he would already have been signed .. that’s good bench production!
— Ben Stinar (@BenStinar) August 30, 2022
That includes hitting 39.1% of his 5.2 threes per game.
Anthony is still more than capable of mixing in with the starters to space the floor and beef up bench units that often lack offensive talent.
Per Cleaning the Glass, Anthony had a +2.0 Efficiency Differential, which tracks the team’s points scored vs points surrendered per 100 possessions while the player is on the floor.
While that is not a perfect stat as it is dependent on who that player shares the floor with, it shows Anthony does not crater a team when he steps on the court.
He Estimated Plus/Minus of -0.6 ranks in the 60th percentile league-wide per Dunks & Threes.
Not a great number, but also not detrimental to a team.
Anthony can still be a nice bench piece for a contending team looking to boost their offensive output off the bench.
Is Carmelo A 16-Game Player?
He was referencing the 16 games it takes to win an NBA Title.
Does Anthony still profile as one of these players?
The short answer is no, probably not.
While his bench play would be valuable in the regular season, it would be less needed come playoff time.
Especially in the NBA Finals.
In the playoffs, the intensity is ratcheted up and defenses start to become more physical.
Anthony’s offense would still be beneficial in the postseason, but his defense would negate any positives from the other end of the court.
The @NBA playoffs have been all about hunting the matchup; finding the best possible 1-on-1 mismatch and creating the best shot for the team.
— Eric Musselman (@EricPMusselman) September 3, 2020
Opposing teams relentlessly hunt mismatches in the playoffs.
It is one of the main reasons Boston made the Finals last year – they consistently had five average or above average defenders on the court.
While Carmelo may no longer be a 16-game player, he may still profile as an 8-game player.
And he can still contribute as an 82-game player for a contender.