Peter Vescey thinks the Nets are no longer the “front runners” for Carmelo Anthony’s services, and while Vescey’s credibility is always questionable, on the off-chance that he’s right, as a proud member of the “You can’t trade Favors for ‘Melo” camp, I’d like to point to a Howard Beck piece in the New York Times this morning, that cobbles together some of the best points from around the internet debunking this notion that Anthony is the “elite” player a team like the Nets (or Knicks) needs.
Keep in mind that Beck’s Anthony piece is written in terms of how he would or would not help the Knicks, but I think all of the points made can be applied to the Nets except for one specific caveat: the Nets have more to lose by acquiring Anthony if they sacrifice a potential cornerstone in Favors.
Here are some of the numbers Beck runs:
- About 61 percent of Anthony’s field goal attempts were contested, among the worst in the league of players who were tracked.
- His career field goal percentage (.459) and three-point percentage (.316) are both below league average.
- Despite averaging 19.3 shots per game, he only racks up about three assists per game.
In short, per an NBA scout:
“Carmelo needs the ball in his hand all the time to be a factor,” the scout said, concluding, “Carmelo is not the immediate answer.”
And Beck does a good job summarizing what ‘Melo’s critics have been saying since these trade rumors started to surface (again substitute Knicks for Nets):
Anthony is an elite scorer but a below-average playmaker and a mostly indifferent defender. He can provide 25 points a night and a go-to option in the final minutes of a tight game, but he would not give the Knicks what they need most: a player who elevates everyone around him.
Maybe Derrick Favors turns into a very good NBA basketball player. Maybe he doesn’t. The question that I keep running in my head is if Favors’ potential is worth sacrificing for a player that a growing number of analysts are saying has benefitted from being a volume scorer, not a difference maker.