Honorable Mentions: The Eastern Conference. 76ers, Bucks, Celtics, Raptors in that order.
- Trail Blazers – Lillard and McCollumn have tried once before to louver Carmelo to Portland only for him to choose other franchises. After having flamed out of two different locations I can’t imagine that the Blazers are still high enough on him to go after him like they once did. However, they still don’t believe in their heart off hearts that they have enough to beat the Warriors as is. He’d be a solid scoring threat for a team like the Blazers, if they could find a way for him to come off the bench for 15-20 minutes a night. Still a long shot, this spot could easily be taken by the Celtics, 76ers, Raptors, or Bucks as they will be looking to add any sort of piece to get an edge over the wide-open eastern conference. None of the teams I just mentioned would give him more than 15 minutes a night but if he swallowed his pride, he could still find a spot on a championship contender.
- Heat – After Wade tweeted about the NBA doing his boy Carmelo Anthony dirty and that he shouldn’t be the scapegoat for the Rockets early season struggles. This could be a likely location just because the heat could have both Wade and Melo coming off the bench in their farewell seasons. Would be good for ticket sells, and they would have one of the most experienced benches in the NBA to go along with an increased chance to move up the playoff rankings ladder in the East. Wade’s friendship may not be enough though or any of these reasons to warrant Pat Riley brining in Melo, even if he did want him a few years ago.
- Lakers – This is highly unlikely, but honestly so are many of these options I’ve mentioned thus far. Lebron while he also tweeted out advocating for Melo and his ability to play still in agreeance with Wade may not mean he would be willing to let his friend join his young and budding Lakers who are already having lineup issues and rotations problems with more wing players than they have minutes for. However, Melo does want to go to Los Angeles and if LeBron or the Lakers eve sniffed an offer towards his direction regardless of playing time, I’d assume he’d take it. But the Lakers don’t need another personality and storyline in this locker room.
- Nuggets – This is my favorite option for Carmelo Anthony as he would be doing the same as Wade returning to where it all began for his farewell season. If he would be willing to play 10-15 minutes a night, Denver and its fans would love to have him for one final year no matter how things ended between them. With a star center who is a willing passer and many other pieces who can score, but with the need for a little more wing depth and scoring Carmelo could be a nice boost off the bench. Plus, personally I’m all for nostalgia and would love to see Carmelo in this post-season back in a Denver uniform, on a team that he’d fit nicely on.
- Warriors – After the way the Knicks, Thunder, and Rockets have now treated Carmelo Anthony I can only believe his best option left is to follow a similar path as Cousins. Going to Golden State will be how he can stick it to the rest of the league, furthering the gap between the Warriors and the rest of the league as he could extend his career another 2-3 years on a minimum contract playing for the Warriors and fitting into their system. Choosing this will also help him alter some of his basketball legacy as he will become a champion. Also, with the possibility that Durant, Thompson or both end up leaving this offseason it gives Carmelo an opportunity to continue to provide bench scoring for the Warriors as they lose some of their top guys, he may even have a chance to be a 6th man of the year next season. For career longevity and the guarantee that you don’t have to play for another team after this would be enough, I think for Melo to choose Golden State.