Call it the Carmelo Tour of 2014. All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony elected to opt out of his New York Knicks contract and explore free agency. Dallas made the short list of places he might land, along with Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles.
Anthony is an undeniable talent in the NBA, but is he seriously considering the Mavericks? More important, should Dallas seriously consider him? We broke it down by pros and cons:
Anthony is a 6-foot-8-inch forward who can shoot from the outside but can also drag smaller defenders inside. He has averaged more than 20 points a game for the past decade and last year dropped in more than 27 points per game for the Knicks.
Adding Anthony to Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler would give the Mavericks the most dynamic front court in the league and, paired with Monta Ellis, would give them arguably the most talented starting unit. Call it the Miami Heat model.
Coach Carlisle effect
The one thing the Mavs can offer that other teams can’t is the best coach this side of San Antonio. Rick Carlisle is an under-appreciated asset here in Dallas. He’s already taken Monta Ellis, another player known for putting stats above wins, and turned him into a team player. Imagine if he could do the same for Anthony. There will be no power plays between coach and star player in this city because the coach can just show off his championship ring. Argument over.
Dallas has already set itself apart from other teams by keeping the Anthony visit under wraps. Meanwhile, other cities are announcing Anthony’s presence to anyone who will listen. If Carmelo is serious about getting a title, he should notice the team that speaks softly and carries a big stick.
The Mavericks are 0-2 in recruiting big-name players to come here and help Nowitzki get another title. He’s one year closer to retirement and knows his time is limited as a top NBA player. At this point, anyone who can help the best player in Mavericks history get back to the finals would be a welcome addition.
Dallas brought back Tyson Chandler to help with defense; now it’s time to get one more player to help turn the Mavs back into a contender. Anthony could be that guy, but only if he decides Dallas will help him get a title.
Ball hog tendencies
It may not matter if the Mavs have the best starting five, because the other four could never see the ball with Anthony on the court. He’s never met a shot he doesn’t like, and he often looks like he’s playing in a vacuum, ignoring every other teammate in his pursuit of buckets. That’s not a recipe for NBA success.
Lamar Odom remix potential
Anthony has strong ties to New York and might find life in Dallas lacking. The disastrous precedent set by Lamar Odom — another player with a high-profile wife and big connections to his former team — doesn’t bode well for luring a coastal star to Dallas. Does anyone remember what happened when Anthony’s wife (then girlfriend) was in Dallas before? She may not be keen on making her home in a city where she claims that racial slurs were hurled at her during a playoff game.
Risk of getting burned
This tour is fun and all, but, in the end, no team can offer Anthony more money than the Knicks. It’s conceivable that he is just touring other teams to push up his salary with New York. The Mavericks have a lot to offer. But even with Nowitzki selflessly offering to cut his salary, Dallas doesn’t have cap space like New York does.