Latest Carmelo Anthony buzz hints at Lakers exit, Denver reunion

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 05: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 05: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers decided to fill out their bench with a collection of aging veterans in their nightmare 2021-22 season. In a year filled with plenty of disappointing showings, Carmelo Anthony was surprising in that he was a consistently effective role player amid all the chaos.

Even in his advanced age, Anthony can be a lethal mid-range scorer that makes up for his even more deficient defense. The Lakers might not be Anthony’s best chance at getting his first championship ring, but his old friends a few thousand feet above sea level may give him a puncher’s chance.

Anthony’s old squad, the contending Denver Nuggets, could use one more scorer on the bench to give them peace of mind during Michael Porter Jr’s return. Even though Anthony left Denver for New York in bombastic fashion, it looks like both sides could be willing to mend fences.

According to Sam Amico of HoopsWire, league sources are speculating that the Nuggets could be interested in reuniting with Anthony. Alongside two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic, Carmelo might actually have a better chance at getting his first ring with his old squad.

Will Carmelo Anthony leave the Lakers for the Nuggets?

Anthony has averaged 13.4 points and 3.6 rebounds per game over the last two seasons. After initially struggling to adapt to an NBA more reliant on the 3-point shot, Melo has hit 39% of his triples on just over five attempts per game from long range. That will still help him get NBA contracts.

The Nuggets aren’t interested in Anthony for his defense, but he can still be an excellent microwave scorer off the bench. Jokic and Jamal Murray are deadly when healthy, but the Nuggets are still a very top-heavy roster that could potentially be upgraded by signing a veteran like Carmelo.

The Lakers appear to have moved on as best they can, signing Lonnie Walker and Troy Brown Jr. in the early stages of free agency. As good as both of them may be, Anthony might actually be a better short-term option. The Nuggets are in need of someone with Carmelo’s exact offensive skillset.

Anthony is not anything even approximating what he was during his first tenure with Denver, but last year proved that he can still have a very small, defined role on a team with championship aspirations. Melo could be on his way back to Colorado with a Lakers return appearing implausible right now.