Carmelo Anthony

USA Today

Another Melo Trade

The signs are all there: four teams in nine months.

January 22, 2019 - 9:33 am

At exactly 2:16pm yesterday, a Woj Bomb dropped: Carmelo Anthony was traded. Yes, I said it. And I said it because just about nobody else is talking about it. 

There was a time where Carmelo Anthony, Hall of Fame lock, being traded wasn’t just breaking news, it was shattering news. It was the kind of story that would dominate an entire show, not just because it was the trade of a perennial All-Star, but because it was the trade of one of the most polarizing players in the league. 

And the argument would rage. Would he make his new team better? Or will their offense bog down? Did the old team give up on him too quickly? Did they get enough in return?

And exactly nobody is asking any of those questions this time.

The Rockets traded Melo to the Bulls, along with cash, so that they could sign Kenneth Faried. And the thing that the Rockets were angry about wasn’t the fact that they had to part with a 10-time All-Star, it was the fact that the league office was closed yesterday, which meant that Houston wing James Nunnally had to lose his 10-day contract to complete the Faried transaction.

I know that’s a little complicated, but let me run that back again. The Rockets just traded Carmelo Anthony to sign Kenneth Faried who was sitting on Brooklyn’s bench. That’s kind of humiliating for Melo. But to make matters worse, they traded him with cash to Chicago. And not only that, but Houston wasn’t pissed about having to trade Melo, they were pissed about having to lose a guy on a 10-day contract. 

Zoom in closer: Melo traded, with money, in order to clear space for a Nets bench player and the Rockets are angry that they lost a 10-dayer because the league office was closed. They just paid to get rid of a 10-time All-Star and wanted to keep a 10-dayer. And I get it. It makes complete sense. 

But wait, it gets worse for Melo. 

Because the full tweet from Woj was: The Houston Rockets have agreed to trade Carmelo Anthony and cash to the Chicago Bulls, league sources tell ESPN.

Carmelo Anthony and cash going to the Chicago Bulls. No mention of who was going to Houston, because it doesn’t really matter. And there’s another key word in there: it’s not Carmelo Anthony for cash, but Carmelo Anthony AND cash.

One of the greatest to ever play the game is being shipped to an 11 and 36 Bulls team and Chicago is being paid to take him. That’s one step removed from just throwing him up on Craigslist. 

The Bulls, who snapped a 10-game losing streak yesterday, look at Melo arriving and say, “Nah, we’re good.” 

I mean, remember when the Bulls rolled out the red carpet to recruit Carmelo? That was only a few years ago. They were going to add Melo to Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler, plus maybe add Pau Gasol and with Tom Thibodeau leading them, they were going to try to take down LeBron. 

That was 2014. Jimmy Butler is on his second team since then. Derrick Rose is on his billionth. And Thibs was just fired. And now Melo is being traded with money. 

Man, life catches up in a hurry.

That’s where Melo is right now. Well, that and technically being a Bull, even though he’ll never play for the Bulls. 

Quick: can you name the teams that Melo has been with since April? I mean, did you even remember that he played with the Thunder last season? Because it’s kind of easy to forget. And then there was the short run with the Rockets. And now it’s the Bulls, right? That’s three teams since April.

Wrong. Chicago is his fourth team since April. He was also traded from OKC to Atlanta over the summer before he went to Houston. So that’s OKC to Atlanta to Houston to Chicago. That’s not a career, that’s a series of re-directed flights. That’s what happens when you’re trying to fly from OKC to Chicago, but weather re-routes you south. And that’s since April. And that’s for a Hall of Famer.

And he’s not done. Well, he is done, but he’s not done moving. Because the Bulls aren’t going to keep him. They’re going to waive him. And he’ll never play a game for them. Which means that his Bulls jersey can go right up there in the rafters alongside his Hawks jersey from back in July. 

Rasheed Wallace’s Atlanta Hawks career can’t believe the run Melo had in Atlanta and Chicago. 

And I don’t bring this all up to clown Melo. Not at all. In fact, it’s to not clown Melo. It’s really easy to clown him these days. It’s become so easy that it’s actually worth remember that this guy is a 10-time All-Star. A three-time Olympic gold medalist. A scoring champ. An NCAA champ. He has had the kind of career that you dream of and it’s having the ending of nightmares.

Four teams in nine months? That’s not a Hall of Famer, that’s a ham-and-egger. That’s a guy just trying to scratch and claw to make it in the league and stay in the league. A GUY LIVING ON TEN DAYER’S.

And it’s further proof that even that almost no athlete gets to go out the way they want.  Almost no athlete, even the best athletes, get to go out on their own terms. Especially Melo. And even worse, this doesn’t appear to even be the end. Because he didn’t hang it up after the disaster in OKC. And he didn’t hang it up when it was even worse in Houston. And you know how badly he appears to want to go to the Lakers. And the Lakers don’t need him at all. contrary to what he or LeBron think or what. 

Which means there could be more jerseys and more trades and more salary dumps and more bench guys being chosen over him. I don’t doubt that Melo can still score, in the right situation. I just don’t know that situation exists. Look, his legacy, he can do whatever the hell he wants with it. But usually the guy is the last one to know: bro, the lights are being flashed in the bar. It’s last call, Melo. To quote the legendary, dirk Nowitzki: SHUT IT DOWN, LET’S GO HOME!!

 AGAIN…Sometimes the last guy to know is the guy who should know. And in this case, that guy is Melo. The signs are all there: four teams in nine months. Never playing for two of them. And now being shipped to one of the worst teams in basketball. They’re being paid to take you and they don’t want you.