As the Brooklyn Nets welcomed in NBA veteran Lance Thomas with open arms, the seemingly gave Carmelo Anthony the cold shoulder. With Thomas likely to minimally effect the team, this move a direction the front office may be headed in.
Your kids will surely one day ask you about legendary scorer and 10x All-Star Carmelo Anthony, while his former teammate, Lance Thomas, appears as a name more likely to fade away over the coming years. Despite Anthony’s already established legacy he still finds himself unemployed, while on the contrary Thomas recently inked a $2 million dollar deal with the Brooklyn Nets.
Although this signing aligns Thomas with the Nets for the first time during his 9-year career, he stands as no stranger to the Big Apple, having played his last five seasons for the New York Knicks.
Despite averaging a lackluster 4.5 points, 0.6 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game last season, Thomas still managed to offer some much-needed reasons for fans to get up to cheer at Madison Square Garden. Thanks to his 3-point shooting off the bench and role as a core locker room guy, Thomas quickly become a fan favorite and eventual team captain during his tenure as a Knick.
While most expect Thomas to assume a limited role behind Brooklyn’s already talented roster, his contract with the team certainly reveals more about any rumored plans about a pairing between Brooklyn and Anthony than about Thomas himself.
As Thomas and Anthony mirror each other directly with their play style, age, and position, it seems like this move simply comes as a stern rejection to any reports prompting a merger between the Nets and Anthony, rather than anything else.
Since his trade from the Houston Rockets and immediate release from the Chicago Bulls, multiple figures within the NBA community have apparently spoken out on Melo’s behalf and even publicly encouraged NBA teams to give him another chance at the NBA level.
Already aboard this campaign team for Anthony, Brooklyn superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant reportedly pushed for Brooklyn to extend an offer about a month ago according to Frank Isola of The Athletic (subscription required).
Due to these stirrings, the speculation involving Anthony and the Nets quickly arose. Despite the ongoing support from Irving and Durant, it now appears highly unlikely that Sean Marks and Kenny Atkinson will grant their wishes.
During the 2018-2019 season, Anthony averaged 13.4 points, 0.5 assists, and 5.4 rebounds per- game. Although these numbers already tower over those which Thomas put up, Anthony’s career marks do him even further justice, as he averages 24.0 points, 3.0 assists, and 6.5 rebounds per game.
As Brooklyn proceeds to ignore Anthony despite his undisputed superiority over Thomas, their abrupt disinterest becomes clear.
After already adding big personalities such as Irving and Durant this summer, perhaps the team turning its back on Anthony deals with circumstances beyond raw basketball talent, as it may come as just an attempt to protect their league-wide appreciated culture.
Carmelo, who has found himself tied into discrepancies with former coaches and over his minutes frequently, may appear as only an unnecessary risk for a club already housing some figures already with the potential to cause a ruckus.
Whether or not these inferences hold any validity remains an open case. However, feel free to disregard any Tweets, takes, or whispers detailing Melo sporting Brooklyn threads next season.