Carmelo Anthony has reportedly emerged as a potential free-agent target for the Brooklyn Nets if the franchise retains Kevin Durant, who requested a trade in late June.
"There has been some talk about them signing Carmelo Anthony, maybe as a nod to Kevin Durant, but obviously that has not gotten anywhere, at least not yet," an unnamed NBA executive told Heavy's Sean Deveney.
Melo, a 10-time All-Star forward, spent last season with the Los Angeles Lakers after previous stops with the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers.
No team has more questions to answer before the 2022-23 season tips off in October than the Nets.
It starts with Durant, who could significantly shift the NBA's balance of power if traded to a ready-made championship contender like the Boston Celtics or Miami Heat.
His exit from Brooklyn would likely jumpstart a chain of events that may ultimately be followed by the departures of Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons if the front office decides to embark on an arduous rebuilding process.
If Durant stays, however, the Nets' focus probably shifts toward all-in moves to hunt a title.
Anthony could fit into those plans following his development into a reliable role player in recent years with the Lakers and Blazers.
It took a while for the 2013 NBA scoring champion to transition into a lesser offensive role, including failed stints with the Thunder and Rockets, but he's found a comfort zone typically playing as a stretch 4 after starting his career on the wing.
The 38-year-old New York City native averaged 13.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 three-pointers across 69 appearances for L.A. last season. He shot 44.1 percent from the field, including 37.5 percent on threes, and 83 percent from the free-throw line.
A small-ball lineup of Irving, Durant, Anthony, Seth Curry and Joe Harris would be quite lethal offensively, though there would be defensive concerns.
All told, the Nets hold the key to the remainder of the NBA offseason, which has basically ground to a halt since Durant's trade request. Either that domino needs to fall or he must confirm his intention to return before the last flurry of moves take place.
Anthony will be part of that final wave of signings, and he should be a solid secondary contributor whether he lands in Brooklyn or elsewhere.