Why the Phoenix Suns Must Go All-In to Sign Carmelo Anthony

Mike MartinezContributor IIIJuly 2, 2014

New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, left, passes the ball past Chicago Bulls' D.J. Augustin during the first half of the NBA basketball game, Sunday, April 13, 2014 in New York. The Knicks defeated the Bulls 100-89. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

Carmelo Anthony, who decided to forgo the final year of his contract with the New York Knicks, will have a number of teams pursuing him now that he’s a free agent.

The Phoenix Suns, who have several times been close to tasting a championship but have never actually won one, need to do everything in their power to add star talent to their roster and sign Anthony.

The NBA’s Pacific Division in which the Suns play has always been competitive, but now it’s even more so with both the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers on the rise.

The Los Angeles Lakers can’t be completely counted out either. Even though they have had a few down years, they still have the star power of Kobe Bryant and the wallet size to be a playoff contender, if not next season, then certainly the following.

With the division getting more and more competitive, the Suns need to improve on last season's 48-34 record and sell Anthony on making the Valley of the Sun his new home.

By adding Anthony to their roster, Phoenix could transform from being a borderline top-10 team, to being a real championship contender, considering the talent that the Suns already have on board.

The Washington Post’s Neil Greenberg, believes that Suns already have a solid team, who have a lot to offer for a small forward like Anthony.

Greenberg praised center Miles Plumlee's playing last season. "The former Duke star was active on the glass, grabbing 7.8 total rebounds per game, 3.3 of which were contested by an opponent within 3.5 feet,” he wrote.

He also went on to talk about some of the Suns’ players who still have an opportunity to develop into some of the league’s best, which could be a factor in Anthony's decision.

The back court of Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic could develop into one of the best in the league. When they shared court time last season the Suns scored 20.8 fast-break points and 18.9 points off turnovers per game while holding opponents to 12.4 and 12.9, respectively.

In short, the Suns make sense for a player like Anthony who isn’t great defensively but will thrive on a defensive-minded team such as the Suns. His main lure to Phoenix would be the immediate impact he can have on offense.

Take a look at this video collage from the 2012 Olympic Games, where Anthony puts his three-point shot on display for the world.

According to SB Nation’s Bryan Gibberman, in the past two seasons with the Knicks, Anthony has gone from a great offensive player to an elite one.

Take a look at the stats from his past few seasons to see how he has progressed; his 2013-14 campaign ended with him putting up 2,112 points, which was just short of his record-high from his third season in the league.

Carmelo Anthony's Last Three Seasons with the Knicks

He seems to be getting better with age and his scoring prowess could be huge for the Suns if he were to join the team.

Another big name may be interested in joining the squad in Phoenix, according to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski:

With rumors swirling about the Suns’ push to add both Anthony and LeBron James, they may be positioning themselves for a future dynasty, which would put an end to the long-time championship drought in Phoenix.

All advanced statistics are courtesy of basketball-reference.com.

Mike Martinez is a contributor for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter at @MikeMartinezBR.