The Washington Wizards showed last season that they’re right on the cusp of greatness, could Carmelo Anthony be the player to put them over the edge?
If the Washington Wizards showed anything last year, it’s that they’re right on the precipice of greatness in the NBA. We saw a career year out of John Wall, and excellent years out of Bradley Beal and Otto Porter, making them an offensive force to be reckoned with.
But the Wizards had some noticeable flaws too, ranking ninth in the league in both wins with 49 and net rating with +1.6.
They especially had trouble outside of the Verizon Center, and that was never more obvious than in the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Celtics where they lost every road game, which resulted in them getting knocked out of the playoffs.
The Wizards feel like they’re just one step away from being an NBA Championship winning team. Could that step be acquiring a player? A player like Carmelo Anthony?
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It seems that the New York Knicks are willing to sell even their star players, as reports surfaced a few days ago that they were willing to trade their young star Kristaps Porzingis. Not only that, coach Phil Jackson has said that he believes Carmelo would “be better off somewhere else.”
Carmelo has a no-trade clause in his contract, but the Washington Wizards have a pretty strong case that could convince Anthony to waive that no-trade clause to join the team. There are two things specifically:
First, the Wizards are already serious contenders, adding Anthony into the mix makes them even more serious contenders, something that would certainly be appealing to the 33-year-old Anthony who has yet to make it to an NBA Championship.
With Wall, Beal, and Porter, Anthony makes the offense just that much scarier if you put him where Markieff Morris was playing last season. Now all of a sudden we’re looking at a Wall, Beal, Porter, Anthony, Marcin Gortat starting five, and if that doesn’t sound like a potential championship team, then I don’t know what does.
Secondly, the Wizards can offer Carmelo a sense of familiarity and comfort. To explain what I mean, I refer to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, as he wrote:
"While Anthony has often called New York City home, his true hometown is his childhood city of Baltimore. The Washington Wizards are the NBA team of the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area and would have a scary offensive lineup with Anthony, All-Star guard John Wall and shooting guard Bradley Beal. Washington also has several old Nuggets ties he would be familiar with in head coach Scott Brooks, senior vice president of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard, assistant coach Chad Iske and director of coaching administration Eric Sebastian."
Anthony gets to join his hometown team (well, as close as possible, R.I.P. Baltimore Bullets) and could help propel them to a championship, along with a lot of familiar faces.
So what would the Wizards have to trade for him? It wouldn’t be cheap, but a trade of something along the lines of Markieff Morris, Kelly Oubre, and a good draft pick might be enough to do it.
While Carmelo has aged, he hasn’t slowed down as a scorer, and has shown to still be one of the most proficient offensive forces in the game. Last season he averaged 22.4 points per game with 5.9 rebounds per game, 2.9 assists per game, and shot 43.3% from the field.
That’s production that you don’t get just anywhere, and if you add that type of player to the Washington Wizards starting lineup, talking about a championship doesn’t sound too crazy.