The Lakers have made it quite evident that they are looking to make use of the veteran free agents they picked up this offseason. Nine rotation players for the Lakers are age 30 or older hence the heavy talk about the Lakers being “old”. One of those veterans is Carmelo Anthony, who came to LA after being in Portland for the past couple of seasons.
Carmelo is one of the few remaining players from the 2003 draft that is still actively playing. Anthony might not bring quite the high level of production that he did in his golden days as a Nugget or Knick but he certainly still has what it takes. So, will Carmelo fit well in a system with eight other veterans who play the same role? Let’s check it out:
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What Does Carmelo Offer?
The Lakers’ offense lacked three-point shooters last season and Carmelo brings that three-point ability. While it might not be as efficient as other three-point specialists, it’ll be enough. Carmelo also brings an undeniable veteran leadership that compliments that of LeBron and Anthony Davis. He also brings a dynamic skill set down in the paint that will help spread the floor even further. Anthony is going to be stepping into an even smaller role than he had in Portland but that will be fine if Melo truly wants a ring that badly.
Most importantly, Melo is not the same scoring machine that he once was, I covered that. However, if any player knows how to adapt to a new team, it is Melo. If the Lakers want to succeed with all of these veterans, get Carmelo those possessions for mid-range scores and spread the floor. Carmelo will know how to spread the wealth and embrace his role as long as it ends with a ring on his finger at the start of the 2022-23 season.
Will It Work?
I think Carmelo will work out fine for the Lakers. He brings the ability to spread the floor and veteran experience that will be beneficial. Do I think he will impact the offense to the point that he will change the outcome of the game? Probably not unless he scores 15 points a game and even then his role is to help the offense stay consistent and win games.
One of the negatives is that Melo doesn’t bring a huge defensive role to the table. The Lakers had a huge problem with that in the past couple of seasons. The best approach here is to rely on Melo to solely keep the offense afloat while the starters are resting. Keep Melo healthy and use him wisely to win some key games and the goal of adding a ring to his resume will work out just fine.
There is no other way to look at the Melo, Lakers relationship. Either he is a vital piece to the second or third unit scoring effort, or he blends into the veteran role player position, and we hear little to nothing about him. However, I do not think Melo will let himself “blend in”. Melo will provide an offensive support beam and help the Lakers win key games. Give him time to adjust to a loaded roster and he will not disappoint by the season’s end, I guarantee it.