I have a soft spot for Carmelo Anthony, I won't lie. Even though I went to George Mason I have about five family members that went to Syracuse over three generations so I love me some Orange basketball. Secondly, in a strange way I relate Carmelo because I think of him similar to Alexander Ovechkin - an outstanding offensive talent who can be lazy on defense, has never broken through in the playoffs, and gets heavily criticized by their own fans. Melo proved when he has some talent around him, he can win - he did it last year in New York and made the West finals in Denver. Offensively, he's a five-tool player. He can shoot jumpers, hit threes, drive off picks, play iso, and post up. He is as complete an offensive talent as there is. But like my man Ovi, Carmelo can be considered an offensive black hole where the ball goes in and never comes out. There was a game last year where he passed the ball three times. That was it. Three times. But last year Carmelo was putting up some MVP numbers and New York was the number two seed. He had some depth, tough guys around him, and the sixth man of the year. New York fell apart this year not because of Melo ... any team that trades for Andrea Bargnani deserves what they got. Give this man some talent and he can be a winner.
What are you getting? An elite offensive talent, one of the very best players of his generation. But there is a reason James, Wade, Dirk, Paker, Manu, Kobe, Bosh and others all have rings and he does not. If that early 2000s generation, he's the last man without a championship. Even Dwight has made a Finals.
What are you losing: Gortat and Ariza might be gone whether we sign Carmelo or not. Both are unique talents and good at positions that are weak right now in the NBA. Gortat is a versatile big man with soft hands, a nice shot, and moves on the block. He can also defend. Ariza is a wing three who can defend perhaps the NBA's best position, can hit threes, and is a winner. Both guys were leaders, and Gortat seemed especially good with pushing John Wall this season. These are perhaps the two worst guys to be free agents together at the same time. Someone is going to offer Gortat and Ariza a TON of money. No doubt Gortat will get a hard look at from teams like Dallas and Charlotte while Ariza could have championship contenders calling him ... he'd be a perfect fit in Miami, the Clippers, and could help steady a shaky Indiana club. I truly believe it will a) be hard to resign either of them, and b) not worth the overpay they are going to get.
Consequences: If DC somehow snares Carmelo, it would make the team nationally relevant. The Wizards were largely ignored all season by the national media and then their run was widely celebrated. What nobody saw, and what we did, was a team all season that was inconsistent and often unable to figure out how to win big games. They struggled at the free throw line, had a weak bench, and got up for the big teams but would incomprehensibly lose to bad ones. In short, expectations would be sky high when perhaps they shouldn't be. The other problem would be replacing Gortat and Ariza's intangibles. This would require young guys to step up, guys like Porter and Rice and Seraphin. It would put even more stress on Nene without Gortat ... can he handle it? The depth that was acquired at the end of the season will likely be gone. On the flip side, with nearly $15mil off the books, you can add depth and sign Melo. And you will be getting Carmelo Anthony.
Should we do it? I'm still torn. Carmelo is only 29 but there are a lot of miles on those 29 years. When he's gone, there might not be a better natural scorer in the game. When he's not, he's a glorified chucker who stalls offenses and drives your coach insane. Again, I am not trying to portray this as Melo for Ariza/Gortat. But one doesn't happen without the other. I am also of the opinion that the starting 5 of Wall, Beal, Ariza, Nene, and Gortat will go no further that it did this year. I'm also not a huge Nene fan ... he's old, he gets hurt, disappears in games, and for a chiseled 4 his rebounding numbers are surprisingly terrible. That fact turns my mind to Greg Monroe who is young, talented and perhaps a better fit for what we are doing here than Carmelo. The key to making a Wall-Beal-Anthony trio work would be what you fill the rest of the roster with. Miami found that out year 1 of the Big Three when Dirk and Dallas took them down.
Odds aren't high and Ariza and Gortat would have to come off the books before Meloe makes his decision, which might not be the case. If DC decides to go after Melo and don't get him, we could end up with nothing. We had one good season since Gilbert decided to play with guns. There is no guarantee we will have a second, ask New York.
What do you all think? Melo with it? Or should we resign everyone? What about Monroe?