Boston Celtics: The argument for and against signing Carmelo Anthony

The Boston Celtics could finally add a vet minimum ring-chaser this offseason Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Boston Celtics could finally add a vet minimum ring-chaser this offseason Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

In the wake of their four-game sweep of the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, the Boston Celtics are being linked to a soon-to-be free agent that will be 38 by the time the 2022-23 season kicks off.

Carmelo Anthony is not the name one would expect to see linked to the Cs, but after resurrecting his career with the Portland Trailblazers in 2019-21, the 10x NBA All-Star is being linked to a team he once famously feuded with.

Kevin Garnett provoked Anthony (while on the NY Knicks) to the point that ‘Melo’ felt it necessary to wait outside the team bus. There have been some pretty wild rumors–which have since been refuted–that were allegedly said during a January 7th, 2013 game between Garnett’s Boston Celtics and Anthony’s Knicks.

That was the distant past, though. While the Knicks are no closer to an NBA Championship, the Cs have created a core capable of at least knocking on the door of a conference championship, having made two in the last four years.

Anthony is not the player he was back then, but he’s started six games the past two seasons and has successfully moved into a second unit role. Not many expected him to age as gracefully as he has.

But do the Celtics need him? That is the literal $2.6 million question Boston must answer this offseason given their ‘dark horse’ status as a ‘Melo’ suitor…

The argument for the Boston Celtics signing Carmelo Anthony

In dealing away Josh Richardson at the trade deadline, 3-point shooting was sacrificed in the name of playmaking. Derrick White has been a utility knife type player capable of making things happen on the court, but splashing 3-pointers efficiently (30% in a Celtics uniform) was not one of them. He shot 1/11 from beyond the arc in the four-game Nets series sweep.

Carmelo Anthony would be a cheap option–assuming he’d take the vet’s minimum with whatever franchise he chooses and isn’t hunting for the MLE–that can rectify that need in the second unit.

As someone who can devastate in isolation, Anthony’s game works in the same type of plays Ime Udoka would run for the ‘Jays’. At a different point in his career, that wouldn’t be the case, but more than enough trust has been built the past three seasons to believe he wouldn’t hijack the offense.

The argument for the Boston Celtics avoiding Carmelo Anthony

On the flipside, Anthony is in the twilight of his career, and signing him takes away roster spots for second-round stashes from recent drafts like Yam Madar and Juhann Begarin, as well as any future undrafted free agent finds from the Summer League.

Culture-wise, Anthony appears a better fit for a Brooklyn Nets or Los Angeles Lakers locker-room already bustling with big personalities. The current Cs core is a tight-knit crew that has been through plenty of playoff battles together. Integrating Anthony could prove a lot harder to pull off in actuality than in theory. Don’t forget the troubles he had fitting in with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets.

What do you think, Boston Celtics fans? Drop a line in the comment section letting the Houdini know what you think of signing Carmelo Anthony.