Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Sixers should pass on Carmelo Anthony

Eliot Shorr-Parks
November 16, 2018 - 7:01 am

After a week of speculation, the Houston Rockets announced on Thursday that they will be moving on this season without forward Carmelo Anthony, a move the team made by saying the veteran player didn’t have a fit on the roster. 

Although the Rockets will not be immediately releasing Anthony, there has already been plenty of speculation as to where he could end up. 

One name that continues to come up? The Sixers. 

The Sixers being linked to Anthony makes sense — they just added guard Jimmy Butler, have an open roster spot and have made it clear they are looking to add to their roster. 

As tempting as it might be, however, adding Anthony would be a mistake by the Sixers. 

Here is why:

He is terrible on defense: One of the top reasons the Rockets were unable to play Anthony was his struggles on defense. The Rockets defensive rating was 119.2 with Anthony on the court. With Anthony on the bench, the Rockets allowed almost 10 fewer points per 100 possessions. That is an alarming difference. There is an argument to be made that the Sixers have enough quality defensive players already that adding Anthony might not impact the defense much, but Anthony has been so bad on defense this season it isn’t a risk worth taking for the Sixers. 

The Rockets don’t want him: Although the Rockets said in their statement that Anthony wasn’t an issue off-the-court, and the move was simply about fit, it is interesting that they have announced they are moving on and asking him to stay away from the team — but have not simply released him. 

It could be because they don’t want any distraction about his future by having him around. It could also be that Anthony doesn’t want to be around the team while the Rockets’ front office and Anthony’s agents are finding a landing spot. Either way, the fact that Anthony is basically being told to stay away -- and the Rockets gave up on him this quickly -- is a bit of a red flag. 

The Sixers’ locker room: Anthony’s ending to his time in Houston doesn’t exactly calm any fears the Sixers might have about adding him into their locker room — especially after bringing in Butler. 

The Sixers and head coach Brett Brown have already taken on the challenge of adding Butler to both the team and the locker room, a challenge that is clearly going to take some time after their loss to the Orlando Magic. That isn’t to say Butler is a bad guy — although reports about his time in Minnesota are not great. Adding any player as significant as Butler, however, is a challenge at this point of the season. 

Anthony would not play as big of a role as Butler, but he is a big personality and a big name, one that would create plenty of attention around the team. Adding Anthony is much different than adding almost any other free agent player. With the big change the Sixers just made in their locker room, this is not an ideal time to also add Anthony into the mix.  

He isn’t a reliable three-point shooter: The Sixers’ biggest need right now is shooting. Ideally that shooting would come in the form of a stretch-four. In his prime, Anthony would have been the perfect fit. This season, however, Anthony is shooting just 32% from the three-point line, which is below league average and his lowest percentage since the 2006 season. 

If Anthony was a reliable shooter from beyond-the-arc, dealing with any potential off-the-court issues might be worth it. If he isn’t able to stretch the defenses and open up the line by knocking down shots from deep, however, he doesn’t really have a role on the team. 

You can follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at [email protected]!

Tags: