With Phil Jackson mutually agreeing to leave the New York Knicks, the franchise could be facing even more change in the coming month. Earlier this week, NYdailynews.com’s Frank Isola reported that Carmelo Anthony would be open to a trade but wants to stay close to family due to his young son. As a result the team’s Anthony mentioned to Isola’s sources were with the Washington Wizards or the Philadelphia 76ers. While it would add an experienced NBA player to the team, the Philadelphia 76ers must avoid acquiring him at all costs.
There’s a few positives to Anthony’s consideration and interest of moving on via trade or buyout to the Sixers. As Liberty Ballers’ Kyle Netback pointed out, “Though Anthony’s reasons for a potential move to Philadelphia aren’t exclusively basketball related, this sort of shoots down the idea that the Sixers are some toxic waste dump no one would dream of playing in. Those who thought the dramatic rebuilding process would kill the franchise for an extended period of time look a little silly in light of this news.”
It’s good to see that Philadelphia is seen as a possible destination for players looking for new scenery. In this case it’s convenient Philadelphia is close to New York where Anthony’s family is living and would allow him to continue to see them on a regular basis. Yet from a basketball perspective, the 76ers shouldn’t seriously consider acquiring the NBA star. If the Knicks were to trade him, their asking price would most likely be too high. Likewise, given that Philadelphia trusted the process and acquired more young talent in the 2017 NBA Draft, they’d waste valuable cap space and assets getting Anthony to down.
Another reason they should stay away from Anthony is the fit. Anthony on multiple times during the 2016-17 season didn’t appear to be giving 100% on both sides of the ball. Sure, he can score a lot of points. However, good defense wins championships even in an ultra offensive minded NBA game. Likewise, the young Sixers players need to have good examples to follow in practice and during game action. At the same time, Anthony would want to be a starter so that would take time away valuable playing time from the younger players.
Excitement in Philadelphia is high. Season tickets sales skyrocketed during the 2017 NBA Draft. Sixers fans weathered the process and 2016 was still an exciting season even with multiple injuries to the young stars. Philadelphia added another star, Markelle Fultz with the first overall pick. He hasn’t been in town for a month yet and is already making a strong impression.
The Sixers are setting a good foundation with their young talent. The last thing they need to do is trade for an NBA star that will move away from that focus especially if the price is so high they’d have to move around other assets to make cap room. It wouldn’t be worth the investment with Anthony who is 33 years old and his peak potential is becoming a thing of the past unlike the team’s young assets.