Predicting potential destinations for Carmelo Anthony this off-season

PORTLAND, OREGON - FEBRUARY 23: Carmelo Anthony #00 of the Portland Trail Blazers is introduced to the starting lineup prior to taking on the Detroit Pistons during their game at Moda Center on February 23, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OREGON - FEBRUARY 23: Carmelo Anthony #00 of the Portland Trail Blazers is introduced to the starting lineup prior to taking on the Detroit Pistons during their game at Moda Center on February 23, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony, Portland Trail Blazers. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /

Team No. 3: Los Angeles Lakers

While it wasn’t quite The Decision of 2010, LeBron James opting to join the Lakers in 2018 is still one of the more groundbreaking moves in league history. It effectively ended a half-decade drought of Los Angeles whiffing on high-profile stars, and helped them recalibrate the allure that made them arguably the NBA’s most successful franchise.

And for that reason, we can’t count them out in the Carmelo sweepstakes of 2020.

From a schematic standpoint, it might be a difficult sell. The Lakers are loaded up front, and Carmelo Anthony hasn’t been able to capably defend small forwards since the start of the decade. At power forward, there’s a bit of a logjam with Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma.

But, there’s a lot playing in Anthony’s favor, too. For all of the things the 49-14 Lakers do well, they’ve yet to address the idea of having another sufficient shot creator. Anthony fits half of that prototype; he won’t create a ton of shots for others. But 59.6 percent of Anthony’s 2-pointers are unassisted. He can generate his own looks.

There’s obviously a minute sacrifice if Anthony does take this option. But if he wants the opportunity to pursue a championship while also avoiding a small market, the Lakers will be as good as it gets.