Miami Heat

Why the Miami Heat are the perfect team for former All-Star Carmelo Anthony


The Miami Heat roster has gone through a bit of change since they played their final game back in April.

Gone are Hassan Whiteside, Josh Richardson and the retired Dwyane Wade. Coming in are Jimmy Butler, stretch big man Meyers Leonard and the hopes of returning to the postseason.

When you look at the Heat roster, most roles are already spoken for and defined.

Butler will carry the scoring load for the team, Goran Dragic will return as the lead facilitator. Bam Adebayo will be expected to continue to flourish now that Whiteside and his large contract isn't lurking behind him waiting for minutes. Rookie Tyler Herro can earn the starting off guard spot with his ability to stretch the floor and at the forward position, they'll be pretty stacked with the combination of James Johnson, Kelly Olynyk and Justise Winslow all sharing minutes. The only issue between those three is none of them are known for filling it up, and when Butler isn't in the game the Heat lack a go-to bucket getter.

Enter Carmelo Anthony.

If the words of famed trainer Chris Brickley are true, Melo just wants another chance. He'll also be willing to come off the bench to do what he does best - score the basketball.

MORE: What are the most intriguing destinations for Carmelo Anthony?

"He's easily better than 60 percent, 70 percent of NBA players walking around," Brickley said in an interview with The Breakfast Club.

"I think teams are afraid of, 'I want to be the star,' or 'I want this.' That's not the case, though. Melo just wants to have a final season, farewell season, do what D-Wade did. Do the jersey swap. He had a great career, he's a Hall of Famer. So hopefully that can happen."

Like D-Wade, Melo's best years are behind him. However much like D-Wade, Melo should still be crafty enough to get a bucket in spot minutes.

Last season, the Heat finished fourth in the league in bench scoring averaging 43.5 points per game. Wade, who essentially turned into the team's sixth man, averaged 15.0 points. He finished second in team scoring - that's gone.

Whiteside, who came off the bench in the back half of the season, was averaging 12.3 points per game. Tyler Johnson, another bench producer, averaged 10.8 points - he's now in Phoenix. Needless to say, the Heat's bench production has moved on.

You can knock Anthony's defence all you want, but offensively he can still get it done. Even in the few spot minutes he played on his way out of Houston, Melo still managed to average 13.4 points per game. The year before in Oklahoma City? 16.2 points.

Is that prime Melo production? No. But is it solid bench production from a player who'd be coming in on the cheap? Absolutely.

Not many teams can use his services, and the Melo detractors will bring up the fact that he does come with a lot of baggage, but Miami has solid veteran leadership from top to bottom in their organization. A championship coach in Erik Spoelstra who will find ways to hide Anthony's deficiencies defensively and a defined role as the go-to scorer off the bench.

If there's one spot where Melo can land, it's South Beach.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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