The Phoenix Suns could use all the help they can get at the forward position in the wake of the Cam Johnson injury.
They were already fairly thin on wing/forward depth due to Jae Crowder’s decision to step away from the team. Now, they’re going to be relying heavily on the likes of Torrey Craig, Damion Lee, and Josh Okogie to fill that void.
While I’m not a huge Melo guy, there are plenty of reasons he makes sense as a stopgap during this patch of the season where the team could use a boost.
The Phoenix Suns should pursue Carmelo Anthony in wake of the Cam Johnson news.— Zona (@ZonaHoops_) November 6, 2022
Not as a permanent solution, but a nice lil bandaid to keep the good vibes rolling and add a little excitement. He can shoot.
The main reason I’d opt for adding someone like Melo rather than trading for a Kyle Kuzma or Harrison Barnes type is due to the fact that he would cost nothing from an asset perspective.
There is little risk here, as long as both sides are clear on his role and what the partnership would look like upon Cam Johnson’s return. This way, if a certain someone is still disgruntled in Brooklyn and wants out, you didn’t waste any of your assets for a mid-tier pickup and can send what you need to go get a Durant.
There’s no question that the main appeal in adding Anthony would be due to his ability to hit the long ball.
Over the past two seasons, he’s shot 39% from three on 722 attempts, proving to be a reliable threat from deep. He appeared in exactly 69 games (6 starts) in both 2020-21 with Portland and 2021-22 with Los Angeles.
His floor spacing in Phoenix’s offensive system would be a seamless fit and he could play alongside any of their bigs in Ayton, Biyombo or Landale for stretches.
As long as you consider him in a role where he’s playing 10-15 minutes a night as a spark-plug shooter/scorer, then at this point it can’t hurt.
Carmelo had a bad rep in his earlier days and was labeled as a “me first” kind of guy rather than approaching the game with a “team first” mentality. Whether that was entirely fair or not, he has pretty much shredded that narrative late in his career by adjusting his role and purpose on the court.
A team filled with very few veterans (Chris Paul and Bismack Biyombo) could use a new elder voice in their locker room. Sometimes continuity can lead to voices drowning out if there aren’t any drastic changes around the team, no matter how much the young core may respect a guy like Chris Paul.
Paul and Anthony are great friends, dating back to the Team USA days and early in the league when they both arrived. They were also teammates in Houston back in 2018-19.
“We grew over the years,” Anthony began. “I know people joke about the banana boat, but we’re more than a banana boat. This is a true friendship. We came in this league together. Now look at you. You trading jerseys and s—. But it’s all love because at the end of the day. It’s bigger than basketball.”
Injecting Life + Providing Good Vibes
The Suns are doing just fine in the “vibes” department early on with their 7-3 start, but if a rough stretch hits they’ll surely need someone to help bring spirits up.
Carmelo’s tight friendship with Chris Paul along with mutual respect for Monty Williams and Devin Booker would make him a great locker room fit in the short and long-term.
Is it a perfect fit or match made in heaven that will “save” the Suns? No.
Would his addition add veteran leadership and shooting to a team that could use some consistency behind arch? Absolutely.
What do you think, Suns fans? Should they add Carmelo or look elsewhere? Let us know below!