Bringing Carmelo Anthony to Boston Would Be a Big Mistake for the Celtics

The Celtics have a hole to fill at power forward with Danilo Gallinari injured. They shouldn't fill it with an all-time postseason loser.

Carmelo Anthony on the court for the Los Angeles Lakers last season
Carmelo Anthony on the court for the Los Angeles Lakers last season.
Sean M. Haffey/Getty

In April of 2003, a freshman forward by the name of Carmelo Anthony had 20 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists to go along with just three turnovers as the Syracuse Orange knocked off the favored Kansas Jayhawks 81-78 to capture the national championship in NCAA basketball, the first and only title for ‘Cuse.

In the 20 years since, after being selected at No. 3 overall by the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Draft following his freshman season, 38-year-old Anthony has won precisely squat. Or, to be fair, precisely squat when it matters.

Anthony, who led the NBA in scoring during the 2012-13 season (28.7 points per game) and then led the league in missed field goals (900) the following year, has a record of 677-585 (.537 winning percentage) over the course of his pro career in the regular season. For Melo, who has spent time with the Nuggets, Knicks, Thunder, Rockets, Trail Blazers and Lakers, the playoffs are another matter entirely. Of the 16 postseason series he has participated in over his 20 NBA seasons, Anthony has been victorious just three times and has gone 28-55 (.337 winning percentage) overall.

For those keeping score at home, Anthony has as many playoff series wins in his career as the Boston Celtics had last season on their way to an eventual loss in Game 6 of the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors — which is precisely why they should go nowhere near the perennial loser in free agency.

Unfortunately for Green Teamers, Bally Sports’ Brandon Robinson reported Wednesday that Boston does have interest in the 10-time NBA All-Star with power forward Danilo Gallinari expected to miss the beginning of the 2022-23 regular season due to a torn meniscus.

“Carmelo Anthony has been considered a potential signee by the Boston Celtics in recent days following Danilo Gallinari’s suffered torn meniscus in his left knee on Saturday, I’m told,” Robinson said on Twitter.

While Boston could certainly use a scorer to come off the bench while Gallinari is sidelined, and perhaps even afterward, turning to Anthony is not the answer. A below-average defender who looks to shoot first and pass never, Anthony averaged 13.3 points in about 26 minutes per game coming off the bench for the Lakers last season. He also averaged one assist and one turnover, a ratio that matches up pretty well with his career averages of 2.7 assists and 2.4 turnovers per game.

Melo, as he always has been, is a scorer who doesn’t play defense and turns the ball over almost as frequently as he passes it. It’s been 10 years since he won a playoff series and 20 years since he won a title of any kind. A title is what the Celtics have aspirations of winning — which is why they don’t need Anthony.

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